FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sharon Ravert 706-525-9970
Monday, March 24, 2014
Peachtree NORML Calls on Gov. Nathan Deal to Enact Real Marijuana Reforms
Gov. Nathan Deal Cannot Create Medical Marijuana Legislation – But He Can Decriminalize Marijuana
Ending Criminal Penalties Helps Patients More Than Extremely Limited Medical Marijuana
ATLANTA, GA – Peachtree NORML welcomes recent comments by Gov. Nathan Deal that Georgia “needs to address” medical marijuana, an issue he says is now “on his radar screen”. Peachtree NORML also applauds the Georgia Legislature for recognizing the patients who can benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
However, the recent bill in its current form would be unworkable, require patients to break Colorado and federal law, and would only allow one form of medical marijuana for seizures that will do nothing to help patients with cancer, AIDS, or PTSD. Peachtree NORML Executive Director Sharon Ravert says now is the time for the governor to enact real reform by decriminalizing personal use amounts of marijuana.
“Governor Deal says he will be ‘talking with all of our state agencies … to see if there is something we can do to make this treatment possible,’” says Ravert, “But he cannot pass laws, only the legislators can do that and they won’t be back in session until 2015. These kids can’t wait and their parents shouldn’t be forced to move out of Georgia or break the law. Governor Deal can act now to help kids and in the meantime, put together a commission to study medical marijuana laws from the twenty states with working programs to make recommendations for the 2015 Legislature.
Ravert explains that the governor does have the power to essentially decriminalize the use of marijuana. “Rather than passing the buck to ‘our state agencies’, Governor Deal could issue an executive order tomorrow to all state law enforcement agencies directing them not to pursue personal-use marijuana cases,” Ravert states. “Not only would that help the families of epileptic kids treat their seizures, but cancer patients could treat their nausea and pain, PTSD patients could treat their mental trauma, and Georgia parents wouldn’t have to worry that their college-aged children will go to jail if they experiment with marijuana.”
Georgia just passed a 911 Good Samaritan law that creates arrest protections for people who are possessing personal amounts of drugs if they are calling emergency responders to respond to an overdose. “If we can protect people from arrest who are calling the paramedics to save a life from an overdose, why can’t we protect people from arrest who are saving their lives using medical marijuana?”
Peachtree NORML is the Georgia state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Nathan Deal: Georgia ‘needs to address’ medical marijuana fix”, March 24, 2013. ↑