Bottles of medical marijuana that a Georgia child uses to ward off reduce and lessen the force of seizures associated with a severe form of epilepsy. BITA HONARVAR/SPECIAL
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia representatives vote to add PTSD to medical marijuana law

Georgia’s medical marijuana law would be expanded to cover post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain, according to a bill that passed the state House on Wednesday.

The legislation, House Bill 764, allows those with PTSD and long-term pain to register with the state to legally use cannabis oil. The bill, which passed the House on a 145-17 vote, now moves to the state 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.

State Rep. David Clark, the bill’s sponsor, said it will save lives by keeping veterans and others off harder drugs like opioids.

“I see cannabis not as a gateway drug, but as an exit path off opioids,” Clark, R-Buford, who served in the military in Afghanistan. “It’s a medicine that has very low risks, if any, and huge rewards.”

More than 3,500 patients are currently on the state’s medical marijuana registry.

Gov. Nathan Deal opposed a separate bill to allow medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries, but he supported adding PTSD and chronic pain to the list of treatable conditions.

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