Dale Jackson

Georgia Senate passes cannabis oil expansion, adding several new conditions

Above: Dale Jackson shares a video of his son Colin, who suffers from a severe form of Autism, saying his first word after being given cannabis oil. Jackson and other parents have lobbied tirelessly to expand access to low THC oil in Georgia.
Photo credit Macon.com

Georgia lawmakers managed to pass a meaningful expansion of the two year-old cannabis oil law by adding several new qualifying conditions and making it easier for some patients with a current qualifying condition to receive certification, although in-state cultivation is still off the table (for now).

As a result of the efforts of representative Allen Peake (R- Macon) and other members of the General Assembly, the Georgia House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to adopt the House substitute for Senate Bill 16 by a 167-4 vote. It then passed in the Senate by a 45-6 vote on the last day of the 2017 legislative session and it now moves to Governor Deal for his signature.

If signed by the governor, the passage of SB16 will mean patients who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome, Autism and other medical conditions that have shown promise with the treatment of medical marijuana will now qualify for certification under Georgia’s Low THC Oil program. In addition, patients who are under the care of a Georgia hospice will also qualify for cannabis oil. Specifically, patients with the following medical conditions will now qualify for a low THC oil card:

  1. Cancer, when the disease is severe or end stage OR treatment produces wasting or nausea and vomiting
  2. ALS (severe or end stage)
  3. Seizure disorders related to epilepsy or head trauma
  4. MS (severe or end stage)
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. Mitochondrial disease
  7. Parkinson’s disease (severe or end stage)
  8. Sickle Cell disease (severe or end stage)
  9. Tourette’s Syndrome (severe)
  10. Autism (all patients over 18 qualify, under 18 must be diagnosed as severe)
  11. Epidermolysis bullosa
  12. Alzheimer’s disease (severe or end stage)
  13. AIDS (severe or end stage)
  14. Peripheral neuropathy (severe or end stage)

In addition to the new conditions listed above, SB16 will also make other changes to Georgia’s low THC oil law, including:

  • Removes the one-year residency requirement.
  • Allows certification for patients that are in either an inpatient or outpatient hospice program, regardless of diagnosis.
  • Requires semi-annual reporting by recommending physicians to include the level of THC in the oil the patient has been taking.
  • Provides reciprocity for qualified patients from other states that allow the patient to possess low THC oil.

What’s missing

Many Georgia activists were unhappy with the fact that the expansion did not include a mechanism for in-state cannabis cultivation or cannabis oil production, as well as the exclusion of conditions like PTSD and Fibromyalgia. Rep. Peake offered a separate resolution earlier in the legislative session (HR 36) that would have given Georgia voters a say on the issue of in-state cultivation but it was defeated in the House. “While this bill does not go as far as many of us would like, it does add six more conditions to the already successful program in our current law and this will allow many more hurting Georgians to benefit from medical cannabis oil as an option,” Peake told the AJC on Tuesday.

 

36 Responses to “Georgia Senate passes cannabis oil expansion, adding several new conditions

  • I was diagnosed with Lupus and currently use benlyst for treatment. I suffer from chronic pain to include several other diseases directly influenced you Lupus. I’m currently using morphine and hydrocodone for breakthrough. Why was Lupus excluded

    • I would ask the same question. Lupus is truly a life-altering disease.

    • I have Lupus also on Benlysta infutions as well as 4 other oral medications. Why do they always overlook us with lupus. Do they not care of the amount of pain we struggle with day by day. Not to mention a the stomach and nausea. It’s just not right!!!!

      • I also have fubromialgia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, arthritis, degenerative disc disease in lower back and neck, and severe sleep apnea. I take pain meds on top of meds taken for all my other health issues. There’s not a day without pain and this Oil could be the answer to a lot of people.

        • I totally agree my friend! I’ve suffered from this disease for 12 years! Arthritis now has begun along with did you know to disc in my lower back, and bone spurs!

          • And don’t forget the handfuls of medication we have to take. But Lupus is overlooked so many times. Because with a lot of cases you physically look to be healthy, but your aren’t by any means. Because they can’t see anything physical you are not sick in their eyes.

  • Any disease affecting the human body in an adverse way should have access. I feel if they can prove the medicine that you’re prescribed cause internal bleeding, organ failure and or death then you should be allowed treatment with Cannabis. Both my parents have Fibromyalgia and it kills me to see how they suffer and the many meds they take and they truly aren’t working. Ironic how the lawmakers ate given their position for public safety and security, but it seems “We, the people” are more humane then they would ever allow government to become

  • You should not have to prove that another type of medicine does not work or detail the side effects the drug companies already know this weather or not they disclose it or not. I do think they should make it legal for chronic pain. I have had 2 back surgery’s and am on several pain meds that are causing several unwanted side effects, this stuff is worse than heroin. Cannabis is all natural and will not kill you like these meds will. I know its all about the money but you are playing with peoples lives and people can only take so much before they take things into their own hands. Put away the reefers madness movie this is 2017 we have proof that cannibis will cure some ailments and help with others such as pain. Please help us who really need it, you know in your heart that its better for the community than alcohol . Please do what’s right. Thank you.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I too am on several pain meds for a bad back. Last night I was awake more than asleep. Hurting so bad.I spend more nights in my recliner than our bed. Something has got to give. You go to the pain clinic each month, and they want to draw blood to see if any alcohol has been in your system. I understand the importance of not mixing the two, but with chronic pain, what do you do? My issues will never get better. Doc says each day will be better than tomorrow. Multiple surgeries are coming, probably sooner than later as the injections aren’t working. If this oil helps, why not have it available to people? I’m 53, and take about 8 pills every morning. From blood pressure, to depression, PTSD, cholesterol, and of course two types of pain meds, which I take multiple times a day. It can’t be good on my body. I’ve put on about 40 pounds and there’s no getting it off.

      • Todd I feel for you, I do almost the same thing day in and day out. My Dr agree’s that can ibis however its taken could be helpful for a lot of his patients but he is more afraid of the government so he doesn’t want his name associated with this. What a shame people have to suffer needlessly. At least do it on a case by case basis to help those who are worse off then me.

    • I am in the same boat you are but I take oxycodone 30 mg four times a day and other medicines also they need to legalize it specially for us that’s been suffering for 10 years or longer I really don’t understand other than it has to be about the money sad money before life.

  • I am interested in this for s friend who has a rare blood disease. .

  • So Ulcerative Colitis is still not going to be approved?

  • I have lupus,rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I was hoping that one would make the list.

  • I have arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. I was born with this very rare birth defect. Im in severe pain 24 7. Why is there a limit? I think it should be for those that have severe medical issues period.

  • I’d like to see chronic pain conditions added, rheumatoid arthritis, paoriatic arthritis, Fibromyalgia and depression and panic attacks included.
    I can’t have the biologics, my immune system can’t handle them.
    I refuse pain meds. The more you take, the more you need. I refuse to add pain pill addiction to everything else.

  • I meant psoriatic arthritis. I have them all

  • I have Systemic Lupus, Sjogrens Disease, Diverticulosis, Fibromyalgia, Vasculitis, Migraines, Anxiety, High Blood pressure, kidney disease, asthma, IBS, osteoarthritis, protruding discs in my neck, severe shoulder pain, insomnia.. I am allergic to most traditional treatments. Steroids, narcotics, I can’t take them. Methotrexate and other immuonosuppressant medications usually make me sick for 2-3 days of my week. I live with swollen ankles, wrists, hands, all kinds of pain. These legal medications are dangerous on kidney and liver function. Not to mention some of them damage your never fibers and cause mental problems. Why cant cbd and medical thc just be approved in GA? Or at least allow the people with the option to try it out throught their doctor. My options are limited. I need something new and natural to ensure the longevity of my life. I have a husband and 3 kids. 2 macaws and 2 dogs. A beautiful life and family, but trully my daily pain makes my world just miserable even being surrounded with all the love and beauty I have. Please GA at least give us the option. We shouldn’t have to be about to die to get relif without becoming a drug addict or killing our other organs for the sake of pharmaceutical companies.

    • very well said!!!
      And may I add Severe Menapausal symptoms and Spondilosys cervical.

  • Contact your state level representatives, and tell them your stories! I am not saying that THC oil or other forms of medical cannibis would help my wife, but I would like for it to be an option to the different medications and issues she has to deal with. It is wearing me out as her caretaker to help her with all of her issues (fibro, pcos, PA, kidney issues and such). I am developing several pain issues myself having to help her handle hers. Peake needs our help pushing the envelope, and if the old white millionaires in state government wont help, the lets get them out of office.

    • I agree. would also find web sites that have petitions to send to all state and federal offices. It can’t do anything but help ! NORML played a major role in getting just these laws passed.

  • I have facial neuropathy from an injury, diabetes, PTSD and depression and fibromyalgia. I have been on opioids for 7 years now and I so want to try the medical oil and get off the drugs. Please help us. I am sick and tired of politicians NOT doing the right thing for people.

  • I have chronic pancreatitis caused by the congenital defect pancreas divisum. I am terrified of becoming addicted to opioids. I take zofran for nausea, which works well. I take gabapentin and wear the lowest dose fentanyl patch available to control the pain. I have a low dose opioid for breakthrough pain, but will not take it. The bottle has expired. I do everything my gastroenterologist advises. I don’t drink alcohol(never was a drinker). I limit my fat intake to 10 grams per day. For unknown reasons, I can’t eat during the day. If I do, the nausea and pain increase. I eat a lean cuisine for dinner. When I have a flare up, I can’t even tolerate water. It’s then I go to the hospital for fluids, I’ve zofran, and pain medication. My condition causes malabsorption, malnutrition, and weight loss. It’s made me afraid to eat. I’ve read quite a bit about medical cannibas for chronic pancreatitis. The literature tells me it not only relieves pain, it acts also as an anti inflammatory. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. I pray that Jesus will help me deal with this illness and remain positive. With His help I am positive most of the time. I am praying that Georgia will add Chronic Pancreatitis to its list of approved conditions. I want to throw away the patches because I know how dangerous they can be.

  • I don’t understand how they can exclude so many other sick people as myself I am terminally ill I have to take dialysis treatment three days a week I stayed nauseated sick throwing up can’t eat can barely do my treatments and I only getting worse I need this CBD oil can anyone tell me where I get a card or how I get card maybe just maybe a doctor will take me???

  • For 6 years I have suffered from severe, chronic Interstitial cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome, Costochondritis, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease, multiple herniated discs,severe General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Bipolar,possible neuropathy and currently going through tests for more chronic pain conditions. Medications:MORPINE45mg/day, HYDROCODONE10/325mg2/day, NEURONTIN800mg3/day,XANAX, TIZANIDINE,VISTARIL, TRAZODONE, and others prn. Why can’t they see how harmful all of these chemical meds are to my body? Please, legalize! If using cannabis could take away even one of my dangerous meds, wouldn’t anyone want that? I do! Taking my medications could kill me at anytime and the longer I’m on them will hurt my body. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful meds help but they also have very serious side effects and mask other serious issues. I’m tired. Tired of the pain. Most of all, I’m tired of feeling so helpless. Being this sick I should be able to chose to use a natural and safe plant. It’s my body.

  • I say the hell with them all . Like Marie said I am tired of fighting. It works any canibis does if your in that much pain I say the hell with them there is no reason we should suffer.

  • We deserve to have the best life possible

    • Where do we send in the forms I don’t see any address.

      • That will need to be done by/through your doctor. We have a page here that explains the registration process. If you need a doctor please check out our healthcare provider directory on this page.

  • Isin’t it discrimination for other states to make it legal for med,or rec. Use and other states to ban it. Maybe their should be a class action lawsuit started for the ones who need it bad,I know I don’t know how to do something like that.

  • Why make it available for ppl in chronic pain that’s too much like right!

  • We qualify, but have no legal way to get it. Cannot risk a felony bringing it in across state lines. Useless law as written. Completely frustrated. Can’t afford to move to another state at the moment- so please don’t bring that up.

  • I suffer from severe disc diseasse, and now have a brain tumor,his they are decreasing maybe taking my pain meds.what do I do?

  • I have suffered from fibromyalgia for over 15 years now and the meds I was on didn’t help they just made me feel like a zombie. My husband extracts the oils himself and gives it to me. I am now able to enjoy life again. Legal or not i will continue to use it.

  • Please stop putting these folks in office, they are not going to help you. They could care less about your health as long as they can pad their pockets. Please stop voting for these republicans Ga.

  • I suffer from lyme disease and have a whole myriad of symptoms causing extreme physical and mental pain. This disease should be included! Illegal use of cannabis has practically cured me when I had access. Please support this if you are part of the fight to treat all us people whose diseases are excluded!

    http://www.sophiahi.com/cannabis-crucial-in-lyme-medical-marijuana-and-overcoming-chronic-illness-by-dr-tristin-wallace/

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