ATLANTA -- The Macon sponsor of a bill to broaden access to Georgia's medical cannabis registry is trying a last-minute legislative maneuver to move his bill around a state Senate roadblock.
On Tuesday, a state House committee approved Republican state Rep. Allen Peake's move to use Senate Bill 145 to carry his idea to let Georgians who have a handful of new diagnoses, including autism, possess liquid medical cannabis.
Senate Bill 145 passed the Senate last year but never got a House vote. Now, after Peake's amendment, the bill says nothing about the state board, and only speaks to Georgia's medical cannabis law.
The valuable thing about the bill from Peake's point of view is that it already has approval from the Senate. So he's hoping it will carry his medical marijuana language through the House and back to the Senate for quick agreement without the need for hearings there.
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His move comes a day after state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said she will not hold a hearing on Peake's original House Bill 722 before the session ends March 24. She said she heard criticisms of the bill and that her committee did not have time for it. She said she would like to work on the topic in the coming months.
Peake has challenged the idea that any medical cannabis activists want his bill to fail, though he and others began the session with a bill they liked better, one which would have allowed Georgia cultivation of medical cannabis.
To contact writer Maggie Lee, e-mail email@example.com.