Archive for the ‘georgia’ category

CBD-Only Legislation Will Likely Be Unworkable For Most Patients

March 19th, 2014

Lawmakers in four states — Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Utah — are poised to enact legislation in the coming days/weeks aimed at providing patients, primarily children with forms of intractable epilepsy, with strains of cannabis and/or cannabis extracts high in the compound cannabidiol (CBD).

I have previously written why, in theory, these proposals will likely provide only limited relief for patients. A closer look at the text of these proposed laws indicates that, in fact, they are largely unworkable and will most likely provide no tangible relief or protection for the patient community they are intended to serve.

Excerpt via Alternet.org. (Read the entire article here.)

Alabama: Senate lawmakers unanimously approved SB 174, aka “Carley’s Law,” which seeks to allow investigators at the University of Alabama to study CBD in FDA-approved trials. But no change in state law is actually necessary to permit state university researchers to conduct clinical trials on cannabidiol. Such FDA-approved protocols are already permitted under federal law, but they require the added approval of regulators at the DEA, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), and PHS (Public Health Service). However, since CBD (like marijuana) is classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law, these agencies have historically been reticent to allow such studies to go forward, a fact that will likely remain unchanged even if House members similarly sign off on Carley’s Law.

Georgia: A Senate panel last week amended and approved House Bill 885, aka “Haley’s Hope Act.” …The amended Senate plan … only provides for an exemption from state prosecution for those who obtain CBD oil from a legal medical marijuana state and transport it back to Georgia. In theory, this would allow Georgia parents to visit a state like Colorado to obtain medicine for their children. But in practice, Colorado’s medical marijuana law only allows those who are state residents and who possess a state-issued patient identification card to legally purchase such products. In other words, Georgia parents would have to violate Colorado law to obtain CBD-oils (which are likely to only be available from a medical dispensary, not a retail cannabis market). Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries would also be in violation of not just the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law by providing a product they know is intended to be transported across state lines—a clear violation of the guidelines put forward in the August 2013 Department of Justice memo which call for “preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal in some form to other states.”

Kentucky: Senators last week gave unanimous approval to Senate Bill 124. Like Alabama’s proposal, the bill calls on University of Kentucky researchers to study CBD in clinical trials — something they could do with or without passage of a new state law, if the necessary federal agencies agreed to it. The measure also seeks to allow physicians at state teaching hospitals to recommend CBD to patients. However, past experience from other states indicates that this latter scenario is unlikely. In 2013, Maryland lawmakers enacted legislation to allow physicians at the state’s limited number of teaching hospitals to dispense cannabis. To date, no Maryland hospitals have taken up the state’s invitation to do so.

Utah: House and Senate lawmakers have given final approval to House Bill 105. Utah’s governor is expected to sign the measure into law imminently. Like Georgia’s proposal, the Utah measure, which sunsets in 2016, provides protection from state prosecution for parents who can acquire CBD-oil for their epileptic children, assuming a neurologist has authorized the treatment. But, as will be the case in Georgia, Utah patients will likely only be able to obtain CBD from out of state, an act that would violate neighboring states’ medical cannabis laws. The Utah proposal also calls on the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for the purposes of one day producing cannabis medicines. However, it remains to be seen whether such industrial crops can yield therapeutically effective CBD-extracts or whether federal lawmakers would even allow such a state-sponsored research project to move forward.

Limited Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill Passes House

March 7th, 2014
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Rep. Allen Peake

In a landslide vote of 171-4 Monday, the Georgia House of Representatives passed “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake and over 90 others to legalize medical cannabis. Thanks to the leadership and compassion of Rep. Peake and 170 other members of the House, HB 885 is headed to the Senate!

This bill was named for Haleigh Cox, a four-year-old from Forsyth, who suffers more than a hundred seizures per day. Medical cannabis has proven to be effective in treating hundreds of children with conditions similar to Haleigh’s.

Unfortunately, in its current form, HB 885 would not provide the access to medicine that Haleigh and so many Georgia children desperately need. HB 885 relies on teaching hospitals to grow marijuana and process the cannabis-based liquid drops that relieve seizures. However, hospitals depend heavily on federal grants for funding — grants which may be revoked if the hospitals agree to handle the marijuana. A similar program in Maryland has already proven to be unworkable. The sponsor of that legislation, a physician, is seeking solutions to make it effective.

As Rep. Peake told WSB-TV yesterday, “I still got a big mountain to climb” — the bill will need to be amended to include dispensaries.

 

Atheist Candidate For GA Legislature Would Legalize Marijuana

May 25th, 2012
Elect Mike Smith, GA House Dist. 69Mike Smith: "With the legalization of marijuana, we can increase tax revenue, close expensive for-profit prisons, and use the savings to improve the education of our

Jury Acquits Man Who Says He Was Selling Marijuana During Robbery

April 12th, 2012
Hey man -- I didn't rob these people. They tried to rob me when I sold them marijuana. That's a line of defense you don't see very often, especially in Georgia. But it worked.A Georgia jury on Wednesday found a 20-year-old man not guilty of armed robbery after he testified he went to Liberty Garden Townhomes in Columbus in 2010 to sell marijuana to customers who then tried to rob him, rather than the other way around, report Alan Riquelmy and Tim Chitwood of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.Defense attorney Stacey Jackson said he thought jurors were swayed by Kadeem Wilkerson's "brutally honest" testimony about having sold pot, and his testimony was backed up by a marijuana conviction in Chattahoochee County. Imagine that -- a pot conviction that helps you! Continue reading "Jury Acquits Man Who Says He Was Selling Marijuana During Robbery" >

Georgia Student Sues School After Being Victimized by Humiliating Drug War Tactics

February 16th, 2012

A Georgia school system is being sued by a student after an incident that occurred during a marijuana investigation. The victim, who was in seventh grade at the time, was humiliated by school officials in front of other students after being implicated in an investigation. The details speak for themselves:

The student, identified in court documents as D.H., said officials at Eddie White Academy initially strip-searched three other students on Feb. 8, 2011, after suspecting they had marijuana. One of them accused D.H. of having drugs, and he was brought to then-vice principal Tyrus McDowell’s office.

While the three classmates watched, D.H.’s pockets and book bag were searched but didn’t find anything, the lawsuit said. One of the students told school officials he had lied about D.H. having drugs, but administrators continued the search as D.H. begged to be taken to the bathroom for more privacy, according to the lawsuit.

D.H. was ordered to strip and again, no drugs were found.

This sad event was not only illegal according to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it was also representative of some of the more repulsive aspects of the government’s war on marijuana users. Let’s see …

We have authority figures pressuring suspects into implicating innocent people and then refusing to listen when the accusation is recanted or outside evidence proves the implicated person was not involved.

Those same authorities conduct illegal searches using humiliating and forceful methods, without respect for privacy, due process, or human dignity.

The victim is forced to carry the stigma of the incident, which has very real effects on his or her ability to prosper and live a normal life. At the same time, respect for the authorities in question and the system they represent is shaken and often never recovered.

“This situation has broken the very foundation of my child’s education because in order for him to learn, he has to believe that what schools are trying to teach him is right and now he questions them after they stripped him of his clothes and dignity,” she said. “His trust is broken.”

This is just a microcosm of what the war on marijuana does to our society. We should all be ashamed that we have allowed it to continue for so long that it is finally and exactly mirrored in our schools. Is this the environment where our youth will learn and grow?

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Man Accuses Cop Of Mistaking His Genitals For Marijuana

February 10th, 2012
...​Gets Busted AnywayA Georgia man is facing marijuana charges after a traffic stop on Interstate 85 just north of Lawrenceville.On the afternoon of February 3, Bryan Brown, 21, was stopped by a Gwinnett County Police officer for tailgating another vehicle, reports Kristi Reed at the Dacula Patch. The officer approached the passenger side window of Brown's car and claimed he detected the strong odor of marijuana. According to the police report, Brown "showed signs of nervousness," including shaky hands and an unsteady voice. Continue reading "Man Accuses Cop Of Mistaking His Genitals For Marijuana" >

Sponsor Of Bill To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Busted For DUI

January 16th, 2012
​Hey, if you like fat-cat politicians who want to drug test welfare recipients even as they themselves cruise around drunk as fuck in their shiny sports cars, have I found a guy for you.A conservative Georgia Republican who wants to piss test everyone on public assistance failed a test of his own Friday morning: he showed up intoxicated after he ran a red light, according to an Atlanta police report.State Rep. Kip Smith, 29, of Columbus, was pulled over just after leaving Hal's Restaurant; he allegedly ran a red light, and was arrested after failing the DUI test, reports Christopher Seward at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Smith is a sponsor of Georgia House Bill 464, which would "require random drug testing" for citizens on public assistance, reports Judd Legum at Think Progress. In response to Smith's bill, state Rep. Scott Holcomb introduced another bill last month that would require all Georgia lawmakers to be subject to random drug testing.The traffic light had just turned red when Smith went through the intersection, according to Atlanta police Officer Z.A. Kramer, who was following the legislator's gold 1998 Jaguar XJ8. Continue reading "Sponsor Of Bill To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Busted For DUI" >

Pot-Smoking Judge Fired In Georgia

September 6th, 2011
​A judge in Georgia has been fired for smoking marijuana and for kicking down the doors at a relative's house. The state Supreme Court unanimously, immediately and permanently removed Judge Anthony Peters of Catoosa County from the bench.Peters, 49, "has not sought treatment for his admitted drug problems and has done nothing to show that he has any ability to live up to the high standard of conduct expected of members of the judiciary in Georgia," reports Jim Galloway at the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.The court cited Judge Peters' weekly use of marijuana during a two-month period from March to May of 2010, during which he said he used cannabis to wean himself off prescription narcotics, reports Steve Visser at the AJC. The judge said he had become addicted to prescription opiates after being seriously injured in a 2005 ATV accident.The court also cited an incident in which Peters kicked in the doors of the home of his sister-in-law's estranged husband, reports Andra Varin at Newsmax.In another bizarre incident, the judge pointed a gun at himself and told another judge he was "not afraid to die." Continue reading "Pot-Smoking Judge Fired In Georgia" >