Deal. Real. Before pharmaceutical companies I kneel.

Nathan-DealThere is a very misleading headline floating around that the governor is supporting a bill for medical cannabis. It is not true. Yesterday Governor Nathan Deal dropped the bomb that he will veto a medical cannabis bill with in-state growing. He will, however, sign off on HB1 immediately if it is stripped to immunity only. What this means is that he wants sick people to travel to legal states, obtain cannabis oil that falls within the parameters described in HB1, and break federal law to bring it home. This is what he considers helping the people. Frankly, I’m impressed his hand isn’t too cramped up to sign any bills with all the patting he’s been doing on his own back for talking to GW Pharma about Epidiolex trials, the pharmaceutical version of CBD from the cannabis plant. (Isn’t it funny how pharmaceutical companies can find a medicinal use for a plant that is classified by the government as having none?)

Here’s the thing. Last year Rep. Allen Peake presented HB 885, also known as Haleigh’s Hope for Haleigh Cox. It started out with a plan for growing but got stripped in committee. I won’t rehash the whole ordeal again, but by the end it was also just an immunity bill with no way for people to obtain cannabis in Georgia. It had the votes, but Senator Renee Unterman killed it by attaching another bill that she knew good and well the House wouldn’t hear. Several families were down at the Capitol as the clock counted down to midnight on the last day. They went to Deal’s office to beg him to intervene, but he refused to come out and meet with them. He has said to reporters since then that he has met with the families. Most of the families would love to know who those families were and when because we’ve been trying to figure it out. He could have encouraged an immunity bill through last year but he chose to hide in his office.

He has known all along that there was a plan and a need for growing in the state. By agreeing to immunity only, he is encouraging families to break federal law by transporting it back to Georgia. You can be charged if caught driving through an illegal state or by TSA when flying. Not to mention the expense and challenge of people with serious medical conditions needing to leave the state to obtain it.

Throughout the 2014 election he was asked where he stood. He was vague and always pointed to what a great job he was doing talking to GW Pharma about bringing Epidiolex trials to Georgia. He was quiet as Rep. Peake led a committee during the months between sessions to create the legislation for HB1. He waited until this past Friday to finally be straight about the fact that he has no interest in genuinely helping the people in Georgia that could benefit. For him to not veto HB1, it must be stripped. He claims to want to appoint a committee to look into growing in 2016. Well, what have you been doing for the past year, Gov. Deal? And if he didn’t think Peake’s committee was doing a suitable job, why didn’t he step in? Because that wasn’t the issue. Deal is playing a different game. Meanwhile, people are sick and dying and many aren’t finding relief from traditional pharmaceuticals.

Sen. Curt Thompson has also announced his plans for SB7. It is a more comprehensive plan that is well-received by those who want to see a medical marijuana program in Georgia, but it isn’t expected to have a shot given that it allows so much more than Georgia legislators are comfortable with and is being introduced by a Democrat in a good ole boy Republican legislature.

But what can we expect from Deal, a man who secretively met last year with Sheldon AdelsonAdelson funded 85 percent of the campaign against Amendment 2 in Florida, which would have brought a comprehensive medical marijuana plan to the Sunshine state had it passed. In an amusing twist, Las Vegas casino king Adelson’s other pet project, besides keeping sick people from having more options, is blocking online gambling because “Internet betting could harm children and other vulnerable people.”

The AJC recently conducted a poll that showed 84 percent of Georgians support medical cannabis.

Want to share your thoughts on this subject with Deal? Give his office a call at 404-656-1776.

 

Related reading:

Georgia’s Deal caught up in ethics controversy

Gov. Deal’s campaign pays his daughter-in-law’s firm $600k

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Deal. Real. Before pharmaceutical companies I kneel.”

  1. The real truth behind the governor of Georgia and the republican legislators of Georgia. They claim to care about kids and adults, and that this is a nonpartisan issue, but when push comes to shove, it is really about how much money they can get from big pharma to line their pockets. No matter 84% of Georgians want medical marijuana legalized, these “good ole boys” down here in the Georgia legislature don’t care. They only care about doing what is best for them and ignoring Georgians. They love to rule this state with their iron fist dictatorship. Hey losers at the Golden Dome, put it on the ballot so the people can actually have a say.

  2. Wow, what a powerful and fantastically written article. I just discovered your blog last night when you left a tweet with the link in #gapol. I am also a Georgia based blogger and have written a few articles on medical cannabis and I agree with what you wrote 100%. With your permission I would love to reblog this particular one on my site with full attribution and also a preface with a link to your tag with the other 26 articles you have written. I think a lot of my readers would enjoy those articles and it might introduce many more to your blog. I didn’t see an email contact or I would have used that instead of commenting here.

    You have covered this topic far more extensively than I have but here are two articles I wrote on the subject. http://gwmac.com/?s=marijuana

    I have a contact page on my site as well and links to my social media accounts. Glad I discovered your blog and hope we can possibly work together from time to time. Exceptional piece and dead on the money.

    1. Thank you so much! I actually just left a comment on your blog before seeing this comment. Thank you so much for the share and for shining the light on what is happening. Just followed you on Twitter as well.

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