Governor Nathan Deal Kills Medical Marijuana Bill

Atlanta GA: The headline screamed “Gov Deal Supports New Medical Marijuana Bill”. What it did not say was this “new bill” essentially killed any efforts to get legal cannabis medicine to the people of Georgia. House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep Allen Peake (R) is DEAD!

“They have pulled the wool over our eyes and pulled the rug out from under the citizens of Georgia that support medical marijuana”, said James Bell director of Georgia C.A.R.E. Project. “They have betrayed the will and desire of the people of Georgia with their political shenanigans.”

Until last Friday (Jan. 9), advocates were being told by Rep. Allen Peake that medical marijuana was on track for the 2015 legislative session. But Deal and Peake has agreed upon a back room deal undermining the efforts.

Instead of a bill allowing for cannabis cultivation and formulation of cannabis extracts in-state, the new version according to Peake and Deal would offer some form of “immunity” from prosecution for certain people able to smuggle the CBD/THC extracts from other states. This was revealed Friday in controlled public relations event staged in the governors office with a reporter from WSB TV news.

“Disappointment does not describe our feeling in this matter”, said James Bell. “The least we expected was a fair hearing on HB-1 during the session. Instead, Allen Peake gave into the demands of Gov. Deal and left the sick children to deal with their medical conditions on their own. Lawmakers look to states like Colorado for the answer but refuse to implement a similar policy.”

According to Bell, Allen Peake is setting up patients to violate federal and other state’s laws concerning possessing and transporting a controlled substance across state lines. Patients and parents would essentially become drug smugglers and only certain people would be immune from prosecution.

Georgia C.A.R.E. encourages the public to abandon Allen Peake’s efforts with HB-1 and focus attention on Senate Bill 7 authored by Sen. Curt Thompson (D).

“We know the general assembly supports medical cannabis, we know the public overwhelmingly supports it, so why did Allen Peake cave into the demands of the governor? POLITICS !”

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.

From Georgia C.A.R.E. Director James Bell

Hello Friends and Supporters,

Here’s something new!

November marks the second anniversary of Georgia C.A.R.E. Project. With your help we have become a leader in the cannabis reform movement in Georgia. We have hosted rallies and forums on college campuses, spoke at civic meetings, lobbied legislators and testified before committee hearings, conducted media interviews and radio and TV talk shows and distributed tens of thousands of fliers and brochures.

Today we are at a crossroad. We must determine what our focus will be over the next two years. Should we focused on cannabis medicine only? Should we advocate for criminal justice reform? Is industrial hemp an issue for us? Should we be doing it all?

As a volunteer organization we are limited to the time spent each week on reform matters. Do we want a full time advocate? Can we raise the funds needed to grow our project?

These are just some of the issues we face as we move forward.

The next 2 months will be a busy time for Georgia C.A.R.E. Hearings, meetings, forums, interviews are on the calendar.

We need your support. Can you donate? Volunteer? Do you have a talent or skill to offer?

We are organizing a “Cannabis Ambassadors” program for people like you who want to be more involved – volunteers we can count on to help organize and advocate for reform. We will have more information on this program later this month.

Take a look at what’s in store for C.A.R.E. over the next few months.

November 12: Medical Cannabis Hearing – Augusta Ga. At Georgia Regents University 1:00 pm -3:00 pm
November 20: Public Forum – with James Bell – Morehouse University – Atlanta – 6:30 pm
November 13: Taping – “Doc Talk with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups” on WGST 640 AM – Airs 8:00 am Sundays
December 3: Final medical cannabis hearing – Georgia State Capitol – 1:00 pm
January 11: Wild Hog Supper – Georgia Railroad Depot – 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Food Bank Fundraiser
January 12: Start of Legislative Session – Georgia General Assembly – Gold Dome Atlanta
January 15: Forum on Cannabis Re-Legalization Jeff Maxwell Library – 5:00 – 6:30pm Augusta GA

These are just some of the events coming up over the next few months.

Georgia C.A.R.E. will continue to be a voice for reform and reason. With your partnership we can change the laws and bring compassion and justice to the state of Georgia.

For Compassion, Freedom and Justice
James Bell – Founder / Director Georgia C.A.R.E.