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Georgia lawmakers: Let voters decide about growing medical marijuana

ATLANTA (AP)—  Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, spearheaded efforts that led to a 2015 state law allowing the use of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions. However, it’s still illegal to cultivate marijuana for producing that oil in Georgia. Patients have complained that getting it from other states can be expensive and risky. About a dozen co-sponsors signed onto a new bill Peake introduced Thursday calling for a statewide vote on state-regulated growth. The Macon Telegraph reported the proposal stops short of laying out rules on where medical marijuana could be grown, who could grow it and how it could be sold. Peake said that would be spelled out in a later bill, but he believed a referendum should come first. “It’s clear we’re going to have a hard time passing a cultivation bill for the next two years” in the Legislature, Peake said. “So why not put it in front of the voters, where every poll shows there’s clear evidence that voters support this?” Critics including law enforcement officials and religious organizations have opposed loosening laws to allow for medical marijuana use, saying it could open the door for legalizing recreational pot in the state.

Related: Medical Marijuana