ATLANTA - Late Tuesday night the Medical Marijuana Cultivation bill passed in both the Senate and the House as lawmakers rushed to finish the legislative session, also known as Sine Die. It now heads to the governor's desk
The bill would create a way for patients who are already allowed to use cannabis oil, a legal way to get it by having it grown and dispensed here in the state.
The author of the medical marijuana bill, Republican Micah Gravley from Douglasville, said that after overwhelming support in the House, he hopes the Senate will act, and remains optimistic up until midnight.
"For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would want to prohibit access to these families specifically of something that would benefit them," Gravley said.
Recently, advocates and patients gathered at the Capitol to support medical marijuana, but those in opposition, representing some law enforcement and religious groups, are also ready for a final push, fearing that passing the bill would put Georgia on a path to legalizing pot use for anyone.
"It starts out with the low THC, goes to medical then the lobbyists start working on recreational,” said one opponent.
Georgia passed a law four years ago allowing patients suffering from certain medical conditions to possess and use the low THC cannabis oil. But it doesn't allow them to grow it or bring it into the state, so there's no way to get it without breaking the law.
The current medical marijuana bill would change that.
"It's time for Georgia to act, and I think this would complete that package of ensuring our patients get the access they need to an oil that we say is legal for them to have,” Gravley said.
Lawmakers have already passed several major bills this session, which includes the “heartbeat” bill, which bans abortions after roughly six weeks.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he will sign the “heartbeat” bill later this week after the session ends.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.