Georgia’s new cannabis bill will finally allow its medical marijuana patients to possess, and treat their conditions with, cannabis oil. But, along the way, they’ll have to become federal criminals.

House Bill 1 was signed into law two months ago, and just last week the Georgia Department of Public Health opened up their electronic registry for medical marijuana patients. Eligible patients — those with seizure conditions, cancer, and many other serious illnesses — can now ask their doctors to add them to the list. The Augusta Chronicle estimates that this means about 500,000 Georgians will be eligible to become patients.

Once they become patients, citizens can possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil that contains no more than 5 percent THC. That means CBD oil is fair game, as are low-THC options. (Don’t forget that THC often does work to decrease pain in seriously ill patients.)

But there’s a little problem. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal never dealt with the problem of just who’s gonna cultivate the marijuana needed to make the healing oils. And therein lies the potential federal crime.

Parents of seizure-stricken kids, cancer sufferers with less than a month to live, and Parkinson’s disease patients will all have to find a way to get their medical marijuana across the border if that’s how they want to treat their illnesses. And unfortunately, it’s a federal crime for anybody to bring marijuana, medical or otherwise, from one state into another.

Some people see the passage of House Bill 1 as a victory. But medical marijuana patients, sadly, are bound to disagree — and keep lobbying for change.


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