Georgia Senate committee passes medical marijuana bill 

ATLANTA — A Georgia Senate committee passed a medical marijuana bill on Thursday, but hurdles remain before it can become law. The bill is similar to a House bill that passed weeks ago. Addiction specialists took turns telling the Senate committee why legalizing medical marijuana could have consequences. “If we increase the supply of THC in Georgia it will absolutely, positively find its way into the hands of abusers,” said Dr. Paul Early. The Senate had taken a very narrow approach to medical marijuana but the new Senate bill presented at Thursday’s hearing mimics the much broader House bill – and the parents of patients say they are grateful. 

Vince Sievert’s daughter has epilepsy and is using medical marijuana in Colorado. “She has gone as long as 26 days seizure-free from medical cannabis,” Sievert told the committee. 

Supporters of the measure are hopeful that the Senate and House bills will be combined and pass both chambers. There has been some speculation that a medical marijuana bill could merge with an autism bill that has stalled in the House. That would require insurance to cover autism treatment. Last year, the combined medical marijuana/autism bill stalled.

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