Georgia is the latest state to legalise medical marijuana, as Governor Nathan Deal has signed a bill that will allow people in the state with various illnesses to possess and use marijuana oil.
House Bill 1, which went into effect immediately, makes it legal for people with cancer and sickle cell anaemia, among other diseases, to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil, as long as a doctor approves, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The Georgia law approves the use of cannabis oil to treat eight diseases: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease.
Both children and adults with the above afflictions would be allowed to use the drug under the new law, which requires that the cannabis oil contain no more than 5 per cent THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces a high.
At least 17 Georgia families had left the state for places like Colorado, which allows marijuana use, to receive treatment for various illnesses. After the governor signed the bill, state Representative Allen Peake, the bill’s author, told some of the families “You can come home now”, the Atlanta newspaper reported.
The law is unclear on how people legally allowed to use the medical marijuana will obtain the oil, since it remains illegal to cultivate the drug in Georgia. They could get oil in a state that allows the sale of medical marijuana, but that presents a problem because transporting the drug across state lines is not legal.
Georgia lawmakers figure to address this issue in the coming months.