Medical cannabis oil supporters want to legalize cultivation in Georgia

ATLANTA — Supporters of medical cannabis oil are now trying to get the state to allow cultivation in Georgia.

The idea is getting some pushback in the legislature.

Opponents said they believe it is time for the federal government to get involved.

The state gave more protections to people who use medical cannabis oil to treat certain ailments, including some seizures in children.

While it is legal to possess it in Georgia, it is not legal to bring it into the state and it is not legal to grow it here.


WSB legal analyst Esther Panitch said the Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama administration’s protections involving marijuana could impact Georgia families that use medical cannabis oil, something that is legal here.

"But if federal law says that all of it is illegal, then it’s still illegal. It’s just a question of enforcement," Panitch said.

Supporters are now trying to get a constitutional amendment passed so voters can decide if it should be legal for the state or a licensed entity to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

"I’m hoping we can make a compelling argument to my colleagues that now’s the time to act," State Representative Allen Peake told Channel 2's Richard Elliot.

"If we really want to do it, if we really are serious about dealing with (the) opioid epidemic, we'll pass legislation that would allow access to medical cannabis here in our state," Peake said.

Peake fought for the legalization of medical cannabis oil. He doesn’t think Georgia’s U.S. Attorney is at all interested in coming after parents using cannabis oil so he believes 3,400 Georgians on the official registry shouldn’t worry.

Instead, he’s fighting to make it legal to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes inside Georgia so those parents don’t have to transport it across state lines. He thinks each state ought to have the right to decide for itself if it wants to legalize medical marijuana.

"I believe this is a state’s rights issue, that the state ought to determine. In fact, President Trump himself has said this ought to be left up to the states," Peake said.

While several state leaders have supported medical cannabis oil, they are not so sure they support cultivation.

They believe supporters should lobby the federal government so that oil could be brought into the state legally.