Open Letter to: Georgia Joint Study Committee on Medical Cannabis

Open Letter to: Georgia Joint Study Committee on Medical Cannabis 2014

Rep. Allen Peake (R – Macon), Co-Chair
Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford), Co-Chair
Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge)
Sen. Butch Miller (R – Gainesville)
Sen. Curt Thompson (D – Tucker)
Rep. Rich Golick (R – Smyrna)
Rep. Micah Gravley (R – Douglasville)
Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D – Atlanta)

From: James Bell  Director: Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform & Education (Georgia C.A.R.E. Project)

December 2, 2014

Dear Honorable Committee Members,

Thank you for your service to our state. I wish to commend you on your efforts to study the benefits of Cannabis as medicine. Your efforts have advanced the knowledge, the reality and the hope that cannabis will be available in the state of Georgia in the near future.

In particular, I would like to thank Rep. Allen Peake for making this a signature issue that has advanced the debate and moved us closer to legal access.

I would also like to thank Sen. Curt Thompson for his willingness to broaden the debate and create a pathway to more comprehensive legislation that will benefit more patients and potentially provide relief from pain and disease to so many others in need.

While some want to see patients with epilepsy get access, others want to use the whole plant and allow the science to dictate what part of the cannabis plant should be used and for which medical conditions it may benefit.

When comparing cannabis to drugs current available, the relative safety of cannabis, used under medical supervision, is undeniable. As with all medicines there are risks and benefits that must be weighed.

One issue we must overcome is the taboo of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and other compounds found in this plant. I assume all of you are aware that some of the children being treated in Colorado and other states are in fact receiving THC and other compounds with beneficial results.

You’ve heard from patients with chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, glaucoma and many other medical condition seeking access. Some have even testified that in spite of the prohibition in Georgia they have acquired the medicine on the black-market. Many of those conditions are treated with whole plant and/or various compounds, not CBD only.

It is unconscionable that Georgia would allow producers to grow this valuable plant, extract CBD compounds and then be forced to destroy all other compounds based on politics not science.

As we move forward, we hope all legislation will be considered based on its merit and efficacy not based on taboos, prejudice and misconceptions.