Increasing numbers of U.S. states have legalized marijuana, either for recreational or medical use. Most cannabis products remain illegal in Georgia.

However, a study on the feasibility of obtaining cannabis for medical purposes is underway in the state.

Recently the Newnan Times-Herald reported Coweta State Sen. Matt Brass was named co-chairman of the Joint Study Committee on Low THC Medical Oil Access.

The committee was set up via legislation that Brass, R-Newnan, shepherded through the Georgia Senate. It is looking at identifying ways to provide people with medical access to medical cannabis oil.

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The cannabis would only be available to Georgians who have state-issued cards allowing them to possess the oil. Other forms of marijuana would not be permitted.

A report in Vox noted recreational marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington D.C. However, 44 states, including Georgia, have legalized medical marijuana in some form.

While cannabis has been legal for certain conditions since 2015 in Georgia, there is no way residents in the state can legally obtain it. The oil must either be smuggled into the state illegally or manufactured unlawfully inside it.

The Times-Herald reported Dale Jackson of LaGrange was also named to the committee. Jackson’s son has severe autism and takes cannabis oil to alleviate his condition.

Brass’s counterpart in the house and fellow co-chair is Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville. Shannon Cloud from Smyrna, a patient advocate, was appointed by Speaker David Ralston. Her daughter suffers from a seizure disorder. Another appointment by the House is Susan McWhorter Driscoll, a former president of a company that has one of six licenses issued in Florida for the cultivation of medical marijuana.

Brass said the committee’s priority is to find out how patients who may benefit from the use of medical marijuana can access it.

Under Georgia law, it is illegal to possess marijuana unless the drug is for medical use. The penalty for the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana is up to one year in jail or a fine up to $1,000.

It is a felony to possess more than one ounce of marijuana. The offense carries potential jail time up to 10 years and a fine up to $5,000.

If you have been accused of a drugs offense, please contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529 or contact us online.