Medical marijuana bill clears Senate, back to House

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ATLANTA - Following heated debate and a unanimous vote, Georgia's medical marijuana bill returned to the House of Representatives where it finally has a chance to become law.

Senate members voted 54-0 to approve the latest version of the medical marijuana law with an amendment that helps children with autism.

State Sen. Allen Peake told Channel 2's Lori Geary earlier this week that he would strip the bill from 20 pages to one, leaving out all references to growing marijuana in Georgia.
 
The only part left allows families to travel to another state where cannabis oil is legal and bring it back to Georgia, where they would have protection from arrest or prosecution.

The changes would only allow immunity from prosecution as long as the oil is less than .8 percent THC, which is the part of the medical marijuana plant that gets users high.

Traveling across state lines with the drug would be against federal law, but the U.S. Justice Department has said it would not prosecute anyone in a state with a medical marijuana law on the books.

Senate members also attached an amendment that would force insurance companies to cover behavioral treatments for kids with autism until age 6.

The vote comes on day 40 of the General Assembly, the final day of the legislative session.

The House is expected to vote on the medical marijuana bill Thursday evening. If they do not pass the bill as it currently stands it would go to a conference committee.


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