Full Legalization Bills Pre-Filed for 2015 Legislative Session SR-6 SB-7

(APN) ATLANTA — Once again, Georgia will be among many U.S. states considering medicinal cannabis, or marijuana, in 2015.

Up for consideration in Georgia are a total of three pre-filed bills: State Rep. Allen Peake’s (R-Macon) House Bill 1, and State Sen. Curt Thompson’s Senate Bill 7 and Senate Resolution 6.

SB 7 and HB 1 are medicinal marijuana programs, while SR 6 is Thompson’s attempt at full legalization.

Both CBD and THC, or cannabinoids, offer great benefits for patients suffering from a vast array of aliments.  The cannabinoid THC, however, contains psychoactive properties, whereas CBD’s do not.

“Regardless of someone’s socio-economic level, they should have access to medicines that can help them; their quality of life is the issue here,” Thompson told Atlanta Progressive News. “This will be modeled after the Arizona program.”

THC Euphoria – “Get over it”

Georgia State Representative Allen Peake – (R-Macon) , a sponsor of a medical cannabis extract (CBD) bill continues to ignore the medical benefits of the whole plant cannabis and THC the active compound known for its euphoric effects and medical benefits. Peake down plays the role THC plays in treating medical condition such as glaucoma and cancer.

James Bell, director of Georgia C.A.R.E. Project said he supports full plant medicine and was quoted in a recent article concerning proposed legislation being considered for the 2015 legislative session.  Georgia Senate Bill 7 – 2015

Here is what Bell had to say:

Peake also emphasized that cannabis oil contains a relatively low percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

But some say that in trying to get conservatives to embrace some form of medical marijuana legislation, Peake has distorted the science by playing down the medical potential of THC.

“I think we have maybe one opportunity to get [medical marijuana legislation] right,” said James Bell, the director of the Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education, or CARE, which supports (Sen. Curt) Thompson’s bill.

Georgia Senate Bill 7 – 2015

“When Allen Peake talks about ‘[cannabis oil] won’t get you high,’ my point is ‘So what if it gets you high?’” he said.

“They’re already on…drugs I can’t even pronounce. One parent said his six-year-old was going into puberty; another said that his child’s gums were growing over his teeth…and Allen Peake is worried about some child feeling euphoric…They need to get over it.”

Bell accused GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Epidiolex, a cannabis oil treatment currently in the clinical trial process, of lobbying to essentially limit legalization to their product when the whole plant could be used to treat a wider array of medical conditions.

Bell said he hoped a compromise bill would eventually emerge from committee.

The Covington News is a community based tri-weekly newspaper that serves the citizens of Newton County, Georgia as it has since its inception in 1865. The News has won a myriad of awards for the wide-ranging coverage it provides its readers. As the legal organ of the county, The News is the source of local information for Newton residents.

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.