Georgia approves medicinal marijuana

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By My Fox Atlanta

Tuesday morning, the Georgia Department of Public Health revealed the state’s online registry for medical marijuana cards.

“Today marks a milestone for the state of Georgia and the Department of Public Health,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., DPH commissioner and state health officer. “Implementing HB 1 has been no small task, but individuals suffering from conditions listed in the law now have another treatment option available to them.”

Georgia lawmakers have approved the use of up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil for people with certain illnesses, like cancer, Parkinson’s disease and ALS. The patients’ doctor must register them through the state website. The Department of Public Health will then certify and license each patient.

Twenty patients, mostly children with severe seizure disorders, have been using cannabis oil in Georgia for two months. They were given a special waiver the day Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill into law.

“For us that has meant seizure free days,” Corey Lowe says.

Lowe says her daughter did not respond to other drugs the way she responds to the oil.

“It means that she’s laughing and she’s clapping. And cognitively, she’s developing.”

But Lowe and others say the new law needs work. It allows licensed patients to have the oil, but it does not allow them to buy the oil in Georgia. And federal law outlaws carrying marijuana across state lines.

“We’re breaking federal law, we are. And I’m proud of it,” Lowe says.

Lowe says her family crosses into South Carolina to buy the oil about once a month. She says her daughter uses the oil three times a day.

She and other cannabis oil advocates were at the first meeting of the Georgia Commission on Medial Cannabis Tuesday afternoon. The panel, made of lawmakers and health experts from all over the state, will work to create guidelines for access to medical cannabis in Georgia.

The law says patients must get a doctor’s approval and then register with the state.

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