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Georgia lawmakers work on conflicting changes to medical marijuana program

(Cannabist) This week, the Senate approved a bill cutting the level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, allowed in the oil to 3 percent, down from 5 percent. Senators who favored the move said it would put Georgia more in line with other states that allow medical marijuana but that use lower levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes users feel high. The bill ultimately passed with a vote of 41-12. Cotte, who uses the 5 percent solution to treat his son, said the Senate failed to justify its decision. “They are playing games with our kids’ lives,” said Cotte. “The Senate is trying to create a solution to a problem that does not exist.” Across the Capitol, House members are working on legislation to allow patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS, HIV, chronic pain, or autism to qualify for medical marijuana. It would also remove some restrictions on patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake, championed the 2015 creation of the medical cannabis program, which has enrolled 1,300 people with no reported problems. Peake acknowledges the Senate is unlikely to agree to the proposal without changes and expects both chambers to wind up in negotiations before the session ends. Peake’s bill also removes some residency restrictions and eases reporting requirements on prescribing physicians. It will be heard in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee on Tuesday.

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