Pubdate: Thu, 29 Dec 2016
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2016 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The effort to expand Georgia's medical marijuana law continued Friday to
receive pointed criticism, as supporters struggle to gain support from the
state's law enforcement community.

Chuck Spahos, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of
Georgia, testified during a brief hearing before the House Judiciary
Non-Civil Committee that he believes House Bill 722 would too broad and,
in some spots, contradictory toward its goal of allowing Georgia
manufacturers to grow and cultivate medical marijuana in-state under
strict controls.

"No matter what anybody does, it's still going to be in defiance of
federal law," Spahos said.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would create up to
six facilities in Georgia where marijuana would be grown, harvested and
processed into cannabis oil. The oil would be used by those who suffer
from more than a dozen diseases - a vastly expanded list from what's
currently allowed now.

Lawmakers passed Georgia's landmark legislation last year allowing
Georgians to use a limited form of cannabis oil to treat severe forms of
eight illnesses including cancer, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

Hundreds of families are now enrolled in the program, which went live in
June when a new state registry began signing up patients. But while state
law now makes it legal for those patients to have and use the drug, they
must travel to other states to get it, which makes them vulnerable to
criminal charges of drug possession in other states.
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