Georgia, Tennessee Eye Different Paths To Legal Medical Marijuana

GEORGIA:  Some have dubbed 2014 as the year of marijuana legalization.

Voters in Colorado and Washington passed ballot initiatives that legalized the sale this year of recreational pot. A recent Gallup poll found for the first time that a clear majority of Americans — 58 percent — say marijuana should be legalized, and President Barack Obama was quoted this month in a New Yorker magazine article as saying, “I don’t think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Twenty states and the District of Columbia now allow medical marijuana, and about 10 other states have medical marijuana laws in the works — including Tennessee and Georgia.

Here in the Bible Belt, however, conservative lawmakers prefer a form of therapeutic cannabis that helps reduce seizures in children but doesn’t cause a buzz because of its low content of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s “high.”

“It would not be smoked,” Georgia state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, told a Macon TV news station. “We need to make sure that everybody understands that.”

Peake is expected to introduce a bill this week in the Georgia House that would allow patients to receive a form of medically beneficial cannabis, cannabidiol oil, that could be injected or given orally. It would be tightly restricted, he said, and prescribed by doctors.


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