Photo Credit: O'Dea/Flickr
A committee of state lawmakers will hold hearings in Atlanta, Macon, Lawrenceville and Augusta later this year on legalizing medical marijuana.
The committee's co-chairman, Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), released the following statement today:
“Throughout this series of study committee meetings, we hope to examine legislation that other states have crafted to help their citizens find relief from certain medical disorders. I also look forward to hearing feedback and testimonies from various groups, especially families who are seeking cannabis oil treatment in Georgia, law enforcement representatives and medical professionals. In order to understand all aspects of medical cannabis, testimony from producers of this very specific cannabis oil that is used to treat seizure disorders in children will also be very important.
"As legislators, we have a duty to craft legislation that safeguards the health and well-being of all Georgians. It is discouraging to know that families are moving out of our great state because they cannot receive the type of treatment that they desire. Our goal for these meetings is to provide information for a comprehensive report that incorporates an update on Georgia Regents University's research efforts per Governor's Deal's directive. As these meetings conclude, we plan to discuss action and possible legislation by the Georgia General Assembly based on our findings."
Deal has ordered medical marijuana trials at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.
Peake pushed legislation to legalize medical marijuana during last spring's session, but it died.
Eight state lawmakers serve on the committee. None are from Athens, but it does include Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D-Atlanta), who, like her mother, Mayor Nancy Denson, is in favor of decriminalizing the drug.
The full hearings schedule is:
• Aug. 27 from 1–3 p.m. at the state capitol.
• Sept. 10 from 1–3 p.m. at Mercer University.
• Oct. 1 from 1–3 p.m. at Georgia Gwinnett College.
• Oct. 22 from 1–3 p.m. at Georgia Regents University.
ª Nov. 12 from 1–3 p.m. at the state capitol.