Georgia’s medical marijuana law would be expanded to cover post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain, according to a bill approved by the state Legislature on Thursday.
The legislation passed after one of its sponsors railed against opposition from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican candidate for governor, earlier in the day.
Rep. David Clark said in a speech that Cagle was “corrupt” and “playing games” by standing in the way of medical marijuana efforts that could save the lives of soldiers suffering after serving their country.
“If you can’t lead the Senate, then you sure can’t lead a state,” said Clark, R-Buford, who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. “There are lives at stake. This isn’t a game. ... People are dying.”
The Senate voted 38-14 to agree to an amended version of House Bill 65, which would add PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions eligible for treatment by cannabis oil. The bill also would create a study commission to review in-state cultivation and access of medical marijuana.
Cagle, the president of the Senate, didn’t speak about the bill as it passed the Senate.
Georgia’s current medical marijuana law, created in 2015, made it legal for people suffering from cancer and more than a dozen other illnesses to possess small amounts of cannabis oil if a physician approves.
Nearly 4,000 patients are currently on the state’s medical marijuana registry.
The bill now advances to Gov. Nathan Deal for his approval or veto.
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