This week has been a busy week for the issue of cannabis in Georgia.
Here is a recap of the events and an important ACTION ITEM.
Atlanta City Ordinance:
On Tuesday, the city of Atlanta held a hearing on the repeal and reform of certain “quality of life” ordinances that have been used to criminalize poverty – like arrests for jaywalking. One of the issues is also marijuana possession. Under state law, Georgia cities have the authority to adjudicate over marijuana cases in municipal court.
The question for Atlanta – Should the city ordinance be repealed or modified?
Georgia CARE Director James Bell spoke to the issue and recommended to the public safety subcommittee to keep and modify the ordinance similar to that of the city of Clarkston, GA. That ordinance allows for citation for the possession of one ounce or less and a $75 fine, with no arrest or criminal record.
Georgia CARE Project established the “City by City” initiative to encourage local governments to reduce the harmful impact that state laws wreak on the lives of Georgians across the state.
House Bill 65:
Rep. Allen Peake presented his medical cannabis oil bill to the House Judiciary Non-civil committee. No vote was taken but the bill will be up for a full committee vote as soon as next week. The bill will add 8 more medical conditions to existing law and removes “end stage” requirements for many of the conditions. A competing bill in the senate (SB-16), which we oppose, was passed on the floor the Senate and will have to reconciled in the house. The bill would lower THC to 3% in oil.
Senate Bill 105:
Sen. Harold Jones II presented his marijuana law “harm reduction” bill to the Senate Judiciary subcommittee where it passed by a vote of 3-1. The bill would establish a citation with no arrest and a $300 fine for ½ ounce or less, and move the felony possession line to 2 ounces from 1 ounce. James Bell from the Georgia CARE Project and others activists testified before the committee.
The Senate Judiciary committee is voting on SB-105 on Monday, the 27th at 4pm. This will decide whether it goes to the Senate floor so it’s very important! Please find details on an action item to contact committee members below.
House Bill 465:
Rep. John Pezold filed this Industrial Hemp Commission bill following the state of Kentucky’s efforts to grow and experiment with hemp cultivation. Hemp is defined as possessing .3% THC or less. Rep. Allen Peake, author of the medical cannabis oil bill, and Rep. Tom McCall, chairman of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs have co-signed the bill with others.
Please Take Action:
On Monday February 27 starting at 9am in Room 328 in the Capitol, Georgia CARE Project is hosting the:
5th Annual Cannabis Awareness Day
We invite citizens to come to the State capitol and help advocate for the bills being debated. We will provide talking points, tips on how to speak with legislators, and suggestions on how to accomplish our goals for the day.