State Rep. Allen Peake speaks on behalf of medical marijuana bill in Georgia
In Georgia, two of the most disputed matters from this year’s Georgia legislative session, medical cannabis and a private-insurance mandate for autism, remain on the docket for 2015. In an interview this week with Speaker David Ralston, he predicted an easy time in his chamber for one of those issues, but not necessarily the other.
Last year’s medical cannabis bill, aided by recent studies on the therapeutic aspects of CBD, gained strong momentum over the course of the session but eventually stalled. That was in large part because the Senate attached to it a separate bill, opposed by the House, to mandate autism coverage by private insurance plans. The House disagreed with that combination, and both efforts died.
HB 1, pre-filed by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would allow the parents of children who suffer severe seizures to have access to cannabidiol oil, which is made from an extract of the cannabis plant and has been effective in reducing the number and severity of seizures in some children.
“I really, fervently hope that — and I expect — the House will move House Bill 1 quickly. And I hope the Senate will look at that issue on its own merits and join with us in passing that bill. Representative Peake has done as good a job pushing a piece of legislation as I’ve seen in a lot of years around this building. He brings great passion and just heartfelt concern for these families on this issue. But he’s done his homework. And I think you’re going to see a very well thought-out and very well put-together bill and I’m hoping we can pass that quickly and get it over to the Senate, and that they will pass it quickly and that we can address that issue.”
In South Carolina, a legislative committee met Thursday to discuss allowing the medical use of marijuana. The panel met to hear testimony in October in Charleston and in November in Greenville. The General Assembly went on to approve a bill this year allowing patients with severe epilepsy to be treated with non-psychoactive cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, which helps control seizures.