Lawmaker Proposes In-State Marijuana Growth Question On Ga. Ballot

After the push to allow growth of medical marijuana in Georgia came to an end this week, a Georgia lawmaker said he wants to pose the issue to voters in a statewide referendum in November.  

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, introduced a new measure Tuesday that would allow voters to weigh in on a nonbinding referendum on whether the state should allow limited processing of medical cannabis oil. 

The vote wouldn’t have any effect on the law, but could be a good measure of what voters want and give some momentum to the issue, Peake said. 

"Our citizens, at least poll after poll, indicate that they want this. This referendum will give us a clear indication of whether that's really true,” Peake said.

Peake’s original bill on medical marijuana this year included a measure that would allow up to six licenses for manufacturers to produce medical cannabis in the state. Lawmakers took the in-state cultivation piece out of the bill, which was reviewed in a House committee Monday. 

The proposal to allow in-state growth has faced opposition from law enforcement officials who say any in-state growth could lead to more recreational use of marijuana. 

Peake has pushed for in-state cultivation after the state last year legalized possession of medical cannabis oil for a limited number of medical conditions. While it may be legal to possess medical marijuana, he said patients cannot get easy access to cannabis oil in the state.  

Peake said he'll continue to push for in-state growth of medical cannabis in next year's legislative session.