Georgia will expand access to cannabis oil
Georgia lawmakers have reached a deal to expand a program that will allow some patients to use an oil derived from marijuana. Senator Ben Watson, R-Savannah, will present the compromise to the Judicial Chamber's Non-Civil Committee on Friday morning, and he is expected to get a positive recommendation.
Under the new proposition, six new diagnoses will be added to the list of eligibility requirements. For medical cannabis oil, Georgia will now accept autism, AIDS, Tourette's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, anyone who enters a hospice program, will be allowed access to the low THC oil.
The proposal will establish reciprocity with other states so that visitors can access medical cannabis oil for 45 days. As long as they are allowed to do so in their home state. It also removes a requirement that patients live in the state for at least a year before qualifying for the program. Reciprocity and the removal of residency restrictions were included in an attempt to accommodate families of military personnel who may end up stationed in Georgia.
A little weak oil ...
Under the proposal, prescribing doctors will only need to report to the state twice a year. Instead of the current quarterly requirement. In a previous version of the bill, Watson proposed reducing the allowable percentage of THC from 5% to 3%. Which drew strong criticism from patient advocacy groups.
But patient rights groups say the compromise does not go far enough. Shannon Cloud of Hope, a patient and parent group advocates for greater access to medical cannabis. She would have preferred to see the Senate adopt the original proposal. Furthermore, she disagrees with the qualifier… Indeed for some diagnoses, a patient must be in serious condition or end stage.
“You shouldn't have to die to access medicine,” Cloud said