Since it’s past Crossover Day up at the capitol, it seems like a good time to go over some of the various cannabis legislation efforts and where they currently stand. Along with the legislation below, it sounds like the Atlanta City Council has all but decided to decriminalize marijuana possession within the city limits. It sounds like they are just working out the details. As it stands, they would limit it to amounts less than an ounce, and have not determined a fine system yet. If you live in Atlanta, reach out to your City Councilperson to let them know you support this measure!
I’ll start with the good news here. HB 65 has successfully crossed over for the Senate to weigh in on. There were some changes made to it. All “in stage” language was removed from the original bill HB 65 modifies opening low THC oil up to more patients. The list of ailments that qualify for low THC oil is now:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(Lou Gehrig’s)
- Seizures related to Epilepsy or trauma related head injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disesase
- Mitochondrial disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Autoimmune disease
- Peripheral neuropathy
Let’s hope this is able to get through the Senate!
SB 16 is the Senate version of HB 65, only it’s deceptive. It is a distinct step back as it was meant to lower the THC content allowed from five percent to three percent, and it only added Autism spectrum disorder to the list of eligible ailments.
SB 105 is the bill that looked to show the most progress. It was meant to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis in what is known as a harm reduction bill. The harm referenced is to the offender. Anything under two ounces would have been a misdemeanor and would have carried with it a $300 fine. The offender would not have had a felony added to their record and would not have to do jail time for their victimless crime.
The bill made it out of the Senate Judiciary committee with little push-back, but then never made it through the Rules committee and onto a Senate calendar. The bill will have another chance next year to see a floor vote in the Senate.
HR 36 was a House Resolution meant to put the issue of growing cannabis up to the voters of Georgia. It, unfortunately never made it out of committee.
Also published on Medium.