Georgia governor continues fight for medical marijuana

Georgia’s governor is backing two clinical trials that would allow children with pediatric epilepsy to use cannabis oil.

Recently, the Georgia legislature failed to pass a bill that would have allowed the use of a certain type of medical marijuana in the state.

The bill would have allowed individuals to use cannabis oil - also referred to as CBD oil or "Charlotte's Web" - to treat pediatric epilepsy. In some cases, children with this illness have been known to suffer from hundreds of seizures every day. Cannabis oil contains very little THC, the component of marijuana that causes a high; rather, it is high in CBD, the component of marijuana with medicinal properties.

The House voted almost unanimously in favor of the bill before the legislative session came to a close. When it was brought to the Senate, however, an amendment regarding insurance coverage for children with autism was added to the bill. The bill was never brought up for a vote in the Senate.

Consequently, Governor Deal recently announced that he will take steps to further the cause of the bill, rather than waiting for the next legislative session. The governor has proposed two clinical trials, which will allow for the study of the effects of cannabis oil. One study would obtain the oil from GW Pharmaceuticals while the other would rely on a federal farm located in Mississippi. The governor has worked with officials from the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the trials are in compliance with the law.

Once they are in progress, the governor hopes the trials will provide some relief to families dealing with pediatric epilepsy in Georgia. In Atlanta alone, it is estimated that there are a minimum of 300 children with the illness, according to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Take action against marijuana charges in Georgia

As marijuana has yet to be legalized for medical or recreational purposes in Georgia, the penalties can be severe if an individual is found in possession of the substance. The penalties vary depending on the quantity of the drug found in the individual's possession.

If someone is found with one ounce or less of marijuana, he or she could face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, the individual could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $1,000.

If an individual is found with more than one ounce of marijuana, he or she could face felony charges. If convicted, the individual could face between one and 10 years in jail.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a marijuana crime in Georgia, you should be proactive to avoid the potential serious consequences. In such cases, it is wise to first seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney, who will ensure a robust defense is mounted on your behalf.

Keywords: marijuana, possession, Georgia