Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Tuesday that would allow more people to be eligible for treatment under Georgia’s medical cannabis program.
The bill, SB 16, adds six medical conditions to be covered under the program, which allows people with approved conditions to legally possess a certain amount of cannabis oil. Two of the new conditions are autism and Alzheimer's Disease.
Jennifer Conforti, who has a daughter with autism, said the bill is a great step in getting treatment for people like her child.
“It means the freedom to be able to have the medicine I need for my daughter in the state of Georgia,” she said.
She’s been treating her daughter with cannabis oil for the last two-and-half years, even though she knew it was illegal. Her daughter would have rages that would go on for hours at a time, where she would bite herself and others, Conforti said.
“We tried everything to try and get my daughter to be able to live a day without hurting herself,” Conforti said.
Conforti started treating her daughter with cannabis oil, and it worked. She said she hadn’t had to restrain her daughter ever since. But even while possessing the oil will now be legal, she noted that it’s still illegal to get the drug in the state of Georgia.
“What you're going to see is a lot more Georgians who have debilitating illnesses now have an option to legally possess medical cannabis oil here in Georgia, but we’ve still got to finish the job,” said State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who sponsored the measure in the state House.
Peake said he will be pushing legislation to allow citizens to vote in 2018 on whether the state should allow in-state growth and cultivation of medical marijuana.