Medical marijuana bill breezes through House vote

Legislation making it legal to possess medical marijuana in Georgia breezed through the state House on Wednesday, setting up a potential confrontation with the Senate.

House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, passed the House 157-2. The bill was first amended, however, to add sickle cell disease back into the list of disorders that could qualify a patient to use the drug. The amendment came after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that sickle cell had been deleted over the objections of many African-American lawmakers.

Qualified seizure disorders under the bill are cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, among others.

Peake told reporters after the vote that he hopes the Senate quickly passes the bill as written and sends it to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. His fear, however, is that the Senate instead will strip every disorder except childhood seizure disorder from the bill.

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