Georgia’s Republican governor signed a law Thursday that legalizes cannabis oil to patients with cancer, seizures, and other disorders. But advocates say patients will have trouble accessing the drug since it is still illegal to grow marijuana in the state.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, center, fights back tears while speaking after signing a medical marijuana bill into law as the bill sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, right, looks onThursday.
David Goldman / AP
The bill, known as Haleigh’s Hope Act, allows patients with eight qualifying disorders and a doctor’s note to possess 20 ounces of cannabis oil, a non-smokable form of marijuana with a low percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance that produces a high, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The new law also allows for clinical trials that will further test how the drug works.
Georgia is now the 12th state in America to approve a non-euphoric form of cannabis oil, Reuters reported. Medical marijuana is also legal to smoke for qualifying patients in 23 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
State Rep. Allen Peake, the Republican who sponsored the bill, celebrates with families whose loved ones suffer from seizures after the Senate approved the medical marijuana bill in March.
David Goldman / AP
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the pro-marijuana group NORML, told Reuters that patients will have to go to other states to obtain cannabis oil, but noted that it is illegal to take the drug across state lines to Georgia.
However, state Rep. Allen Peake, the bill’s sponsor, said there are pharmaceutical companies that will ship the oil to Georgia, Reuters reported. The state’s public health department declined to comment.
Peake also said he plans to introduce a bill next year that will legalize growing medical marijuana in Georgia, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported.
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