[ATLANTA, GA] – Let’s Be Clear GA and National Families in Action, working with several partner organizations including the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and with strong support from law enforcement, was able to significantly pare down the “medical” marijuana bill currently before the state legislature.
However, the list of conditions eligible for “medical” treatment with marijuana is expanding. Autism is included in the new version of the bill, which means approximately 15% of children and adolescents who are given THC oil on a regular basis will become addicted to marijuana. Since THC is a neurotoxin for child and adolescent brain development, long-range effects on children with autism are unknown at this time.
Also, the bill includes both PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease as eligible conditions. At least 9% of PTSD and Alzheimer’s patients will also become addicted to marijuana, given that 9% of adult, regular users develop problems with dependency. Products with even 5% THC can be addictive and psychoactive, something that many legislators still do not seem to understand.
Let’s Be Clear and its allies had a number of opposition witnesses ready to testify, including a member of the collaborative who lost his daughter to marijuana. They were told in writing that the witnesses would be allowed to testify, but although the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee held a number of hearings, the Committee Chair ultimately told the witnesses that they not be necessary and did not allow them to testify.
The bill will now go to the House Rules Committee and then go to the full House of Representatives by this Friday (March 4) at the latest. There is no way to impact the entire House in this time frame and thus the bill is very likely to pass, but hopefully without harmful amendments. Then it will be assigned to a Senate Committee – probably the Health and Human Services Committee chaired by Sen. Renee Unterman.
Next week it will be important to contact members of the Senate Committee assigned the bill. Once the Committee has been officially selected, you will receive an email asking you to contact relevant Committee members.
Thank you very much for all you are doing to help in this important effort.