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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pro-marijuana advocacy group seeks legislators for cannabis law reform

Know any lawmakers looking to sponsor marijuana legislation?
  • CL File
  • Know any lawmakers looking to sponsor marijuana legislation?
A marijuana advocacy group wants Georgia to become more lenient with its cannabis laws by adopting an approach seen in many other states.

The Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education has proposed two resolutions for both medical marijuana and law reform, and is looking for legislative sponsors to get on board.

"Public polls from coast to coast show public support for some form of decriminalization and medicalization of marijuana," James Bell, a spokesman for CARE, said in a statement last week.

Believe it or not, Georgia was among the first states to have medical marijuana legislation, which passed in 1980. The law, known as the Therapeutic Research Act, has laid dormant for decades after the federal government halted the supply of medical cannabis.

CARE's is currently focusing on two main priorities:

1) Reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule V substance.

2) Establishing two "Special Study" committees: One to study expanding Georgia's medical marijuana laws, and the other to study the impact of Georgia's current marijuana laws on the criminal justice system.

Police officers in Georgia made "approximately 40,000" marijuana arrests in 2012, according to the resolution. Bell is concerned that some resources "are being wasted" on marijuana law enforcement at a time when some law enforcement agencies struggle with curbing violent crime.

At the moment, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 25 other states have some form of decriminalized or medical marijuana laws.

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