“We can’t provide it to all of them,” Peake said. “The cost, logistics and process is too overwhelming.”
A big sticking point for both Georgia policymakers and law enforcement officials, however, is the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Many Georgia officials, including Gov. Nathan Deal, have said that the federal classification needs to change before the state’s law can be significantly expanded. Other opposition has come from some conservatives who are concerned that attempts to expand the law would eventually open the door to legalization of recreational use of marijuana, something Peake opposes.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked congressional leaders to undo federal protections for medical marijuana and has been strongly critical of any use of the drug.
What Peake wants is a limited allowance for one or two growers and manufacturers to operate in Georgia under strict supervision, with permission to only make those forms of the oil currently allowed by law.
Under the law, patients and, in the case of children, families who register with the state are allowed to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil to treat severe forms of 14 specific illnesses, including AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. More than 2,500 patients are currently on the registry.