A mother’s love vs. Georgia’s “reefer madness”

Here at Georgia CARE, we love to share stories of people who are making a difference in the fight to legalize cannabis for medicine. Mothers and fathers all over Georgia are risking their freedom to help improve the lives of their children with cannabis oil.

As we go through the legislative process many have come forward to share the most personal aspects of their lives in an effort to educate lawmakers about the miracle medicine we call CANNABIS.

Bridgett Liquori is an outlaw, not that you’d know from looking at her. This petite 34-year-old single mother’s crime? She loves her children and is risking everything to keep them as happy, safe and healthy as possible.

If that means breaking  state and federal laws to get the medical cannabis her kids need to treat their daunting illnesses, then so be it.

“I never thought I’d be a marijuana activist,” says the self-described “Canna Mom” from Gwinnett County. “But this is about my kids so I really didn’t have much choice.”

“Canna Mom” Bridgett Liquori of Buford with children Jackson (center), William (left), Lillyauhna (right) and Giovanni (rear) at the Wylde Center in Oakhurst.

Liquori is part of grassroots movement devoted to reforming Georgia’s restrictive and nonsensical medical cannabis laws. In between taking care of her kids, Liquori spends time testifying at the state capitol, working with pro-marijuana groups such as the Georgia CARE Project and writing her own blog about the benefits of medical cannabis. She’s also keeping a nervously watchful eye on how the newly minted Trump administration will handle the marijuana industry that’s growing like a weed nationwide.

A native of upstate New York, Liquori did not come by her marijuana activism easily.

“I was scared,” she said while watching her kids play at a park in Oakhurst on an unseasonably warm Saturday morning. “I was afraid of someone coming to my house and taking my kids away because I’m doing something illegal. Even though (medical cannabis) is beneficial and helpful to them, the fear was there. A lot of days it’s still there. I worry if someone is going to kick my door in.”

City of Temple set to consider new marijuana ordinance – no jail time

Updated: 5/1/2017 – The Temple City Council voted on the proposed marijuana ordinance that resulted in a 2 to 2 tie. The mayor is not allowed to break a tie on ordinances. Council member Penny Ransom said she intends to revisit the issue after the June 20th special election to replace a deceased council member.  From FOX 5 News.

Temple GA: On April 3rd the City of Temple will begin the process to amend the city’s marijuana ordinance that would remove jail time and reduce the fine for one ounce or less of cannabis.

Following in the footsteps of the cities of Clarkston and Atlanta, council member Penny Ransom will present the proposed ordinance for the first reading at the next scheduled council meeting. A public hearing and a vote will come over the next four weeks.

State law allows cities to create an ordinance for one ounce or less of marijuana with up to $1000 fine and 6 months confinement. State law allows up to 12 months confinement. It does not stipulate a minimum penalty.

A hearing will be held on April 13 to allow citizens and stakeholders to provide information and ask questions.

Georgia CARE Project (Campaign for Access Reform and Education) began the City by City Initiative when they proposed an ordinance change in Athens-Clarke County in 2015.

Last July, the City of Clarkston passed a reform ordinance that removes incarceration and allows for a citation and up to a $75 fine. City officials expressed interest in reducing the harm state marijuana laws create on those caught with personal use amounts.

The key features to the ordinance is removal of an arrest record and elimination of jail time.

Georgia CARE director James Bell said the public no longer wants to incarcerate citizens for marijuana possession and cities are willing to consider a less Draconian approach to the issue.

“We are encouraged that various cities in Georgia are willing to debate the issue”, Bell said. “We hope as more cities reform their ordinances it will send a message to state legislators that Georgians no longer want to create criminals out of those who use cannabis. But, we understand there is still a desire by some to show disapproval of cannabis use.”

Georgia CARE will continue to reach out to cities and help educate councils on the reform process.

Georgia doctor treats Autistic son with cannabis

oday, the second hearing on Georgia House Bill 65 (Medical Cannabis) was held in Atlanta. The Medical Cannabis Working Group chaired by Rep. Allen Peake invited a Georgia doctor to tell her story about how cannabis oil has improved her 17 year old autistic son’s life.

The committee voted to move the bill forward to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee for further consideration.

HB-65 expands the current law (HB-1) by adding additional medical conditions for which cannabis oil (CBD/THC) can be used and for other purposes.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, chairs the working group and wrote House Bill 65, which will be the vehicle for their recommendations.

“I thought today was very productive,” said Peake, after the meeting. The working group is a special committee formed this year to work on the complexities of getting a substance to Georgians that’s prohibited under federal law. The roughly 1,200 Georgians on the state medical cannabis registry for diagnoses like severe seizure disorders can posses a liquid made from medical cannabis, though there is no legal way to obtain it. The working group also recommended that people with medical cannabis cards from other states should be allowed to posses that liquid.