Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jan 2014
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Copyright: 2014 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: Andres David Lopez


An online survey distributed by state Rep. Allen Peake suggests there
is widespread support for medical marijuana in Bibb County and in the

Peake, R-Macon, received more than 2,000 responses so far, with 89
percent of responders claiming to be from Georgia and 21 percent
specifically from Macon and Bibb County.

Of those completing the survey, 95 percent support legalizing
marijuana for limited medicinal use and 73 percent support full
decriminalization for recreational use, Peake said.

"I've done several surveys over the years, and this is by leaps and
bounds the most responses I've ever gotten," he said by phone Friday.

Peake stepped into the medical marijuana issue after learning about
Haleigh Cox, a 4-year-old girl from Forsyth, who suffers from as many
as 100 seizures per day. Her mother believes oil derived from the
cannabis, or marijuana, plant will help alleviate her condition. Peake
said he thinks Haleigh should have access to it.

He emphasized his support extends to granting very limited and tightly
regulated access to cannabis formulas for people like Haleigh who
suffer from seizures.

The Cox family is one of several that came forward with their story.
An Atlanta police sergeant told WSB Atlanta Thursday that he is
relocating his family to establish residency in Colorado so his son
can seek relief from his seizures with cannabis oil there.

Meanwhile, support for medical marijuana in the state Legislature is
growing. Tuesday, state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, filed a
resolution to establish a committee to study the issue.

Peake said many of his colleagues in the Legislature have evolved in
their attitude toward medical marijuana after being confronted with
facts and the faces of people who could be helped.

"I'm optimistic we can pull off a small miracle," Peake said,
referring to the chances a medical marijuana bill will be passed this

Peake is working to introduce a bill into the state Legislature as
soon as next week, he said, but he is working to build a coalition of
support first. As far as full decriminalization for recreational use
is concerned, Peake is still firmly opposed.

"I don't see my evolution moving in that direction at all," he said.
"I do not approve of marijuana for recreational purposes, because
there is clearly an impairment of the mind with normal use of
marijuana, and I don't think that's a positive step socially and
culturally for our society."

For those interested in sharing their thoughts on marijuana with
Peake, a link to his survey is available at 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D