Georgia governor to sign bill allowing limited medical marijuana use

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 5:26 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal will sign legislation legalizing a non-smoking form of medical marijuana for patients with seizure disorders and seven other medical conditions, the governor's spokesman said on Thursday.

Deal plans to wait until after the legislative session ends next week before signing it, spokesman Brian Robinson said.

But he expects to issue on Friday an executive order directing state agencies to begin preparing to enact the legislation, Robinson added.

The Georgia bill, which was finalized by lawmakers on Wednesday, would allow patients with diseases including cancer and multiple sclerosis to use a non-intoxicating oil derived from the marijuana plant, a strain known as "Charlotte's Web."

To legally use the oil, patients or their caregivers must obtain a registration card from the state Department of Public Health. Their physician also must certify that they are being treated for one of the medical conditions covered by the bill.

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Similar legislation failed during last year's session.

Georgia would be the 12th U.S. state to approve such use of the non-euphoric oil, the pro-marijuana organization NORML said. The approach is considered more limited than another 23 states allowing regular marijuana to be smoked for medicinal purposes.

(Editing by Letitia Stein; Editing by Sandra Maler)