Two of our representatives attended the hearings for Georgia HB 885 Haleigh’s Hope Act. For those of you snowed in, this bill create a Georgia medical marijuana program.
Due to the weather, time constraints and numerous speakers the hearings went over time and were scheduled to continue on Thursday. The website says the Thursday hearings have been canceled due to the ice storm.
Here is what Halcyon Organics has learned about the status of HB 885.
- Most legislators know very little about medical cannabis, successful well-regulated medical marijuana programs, Federal drug laws, or marijuana in general.
- They are very open-minded to making some type of medical marijuana supplement available to sick Georgians.
- They will not tolerate a ‘wink wink’ medical marijuana program or ‘stepping stone to recreational use’ medical marijuana program. This is why the bill is excessively restrictive.
- The majority of participants were for medical marijuana. This includes Medical Association of Georgia and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The opponents were few. They could not answer simple questions asked by the Health and Human Services committee.
- If HB passes, the State of Georgia will not be able to implement it without violating too many Federal laws. While we need a restricted and well-regulated bill, this bill is too restrictive to execute. There is no provision for cultivation in Georgia. The ‘idea’ is to import FDA approved products from Colorado. This is impossible for many several reasons: 1) Because marijuana is schedule 1 by the DEA, the FDA cannot approve any cannabis-based supplements. 2) The Department of Justice has been very clear that it will not tolerate any “interstate trafficking.” This puts suppliers and receivers at tremendous risk of Federal prosecution. 3) The bill wants universities and hospitals to receive the cannabis. These institutions cannot receive schedule 1 narcotics without risking losing federal funding, accreditation and prosecution. There are a few smaller issues, but they don’t matter until the above ‘elephant in the rooms’ are addressed.
We spent about an hour speaking with one of the members of the Health and Human Services Committee members. We told him the above issues. He encouraged us to ask to speak at the next hearing. We will volunteer our testimony as soon as the ice clears up.