Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed a medical marijuana expansion bill that gives more patients permission to become drug smugglers.
Earlier this week, the governor put his stamp of approval on a piece of legislation designed to give more of the state’s seriously ill patients access to cannabis oil. Mission accomplished. The measure gives people with AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy, Tourette’s syndrome and even those in hospice care the ability to possess CBD oil without encountering problems with the law.
But there are still plenty of concerns.
For starters, the law still does not allow cannabis oil to be manufactured in the state. So, if patients are going to get their hands on this medicine, they must first purchase it from a legal jurisdiction, like Colorado, and then try to get it home without an intervention by federal drug agents.
Although there have not been many reports of this happening, that could change relatively soon.
Ever since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions started calling the shots over at the Justice Department, he has said that interstate drug traffickers are on his hit list. Therefore, it is not out of the scope of reason to think that Sessions might start getting serious about handling “cannabis oil smugglers” no differently than if they were members of a cartel.
And, unfortunately, the medical marijuana protections (AKA the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment) that Congress renewed a couple of weeks ago do not offer any kind of shield for people busted in this situation.
But Representative Allen Peake, the lawmaker responsible for the cannabis oil bill, says he has been breaking federal law so patients don’t have to. He recently told Atlanta Magazine that he has been traveling to areas where marijuana is legal and bringing back cannabis oil for sick Georgians.
“We’ve made sure that families who are properly registered with the state have gotten access to medical cannabis when they needed it,” he said.
Peake, who understands the current law is dangerous, plans to introduce legislation at the beginning of 2018 calling for broader reform.
“My hope is that in 2018, we can fill the gaping hole that still remains, and provide legal access to medical cannabis oil here in our state with a safe, lab tested product produced within our own borders,” Peake said in a statement. “The job will not be finished until we accomplish this task.”