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Updated: 12:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 | Posted: 11:53 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014

Tea party leader backs medical marijuana bill

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By Aaron Gould Sheinin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The leader of a top tea party organization on Monday announced her support for legislation that would legalize the use of a type of marijuana to treat certain seizure disorders.

Julianne Thompson, a co-chairwoman of the Atlanta Tea Party, said she will support House Bill 855, which would allow a form of cannabis to be used legally in certain situations.

“Originally, I was shocked and frightened of the mention of any type of marijuana in Georgia,” Thompson said. “I am both a fiscal and a social conservative and have always been and remain opposed to any legalization of recreational drug use of any kind.”

HB 885, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, gets its first hearing at 3 p.m. Monday in the Health and Human Services Committee.

Thompson, like Peake, said she was moved by a young girl who suffers from seizures that have not responded to traditional treatments.

“This oil-based treatment made from medical cannabis is helping children across the country to be able to live a more normal life, helping them smile again,” Thompson said. “How can we deny Georgia children the right to safe and effective treatment?”

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