House gives final approval to medical marijuana bill

Legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Georgia to treat a limited number of disorders is on its way to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.

Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, the bill’s sponsor, said he expects Deal to sign House Bill 1 into law on Friday. The vote in the House to agree to changes in the Senate was 160-1, with only Rep. Stephen Allison, R-Blairsville, voting against the motion.

The bill provides immunity for the possession of a certain type of marijuana-based oil with a doctor’s recommendation.

The final version would allow cannabis oil to be used to treat eight of the nine disorders originally sought by the House: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease.

Peake, who championed the bill for the past two years, said HB 1 “relieves pain for a lot of our citizens.”

“Last year, as we ventured into uncharted territory you stood with me,” Peake told his colleagues. “This year as we’ve attempted to learn about his controversial issue and push the envelope to allow more hurting Georgians to have access to cannabis oil, you hung in there with me again.”

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