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AFP-GA: Give Georgians Hope

Feb 14, 2019 by AFP

Atlanta, GA – Americans for Prosperity – Georgia today announced that it supports the criminal justice reform principles put forth in the recently introduced, Georgia’s Hope Act. A 2015 law legally authorized people with certain illnesses to use cannabis oil (Low THC Oil) as treatment. However, it remains illegal to buy, sell or transport the product.

Though not perfect in its current form, Georgia’s Hope Act would remove this senseless government regulation to give patients easier access to the treatment without the threat of arrest. As Georgia currently ranks 9th in overall state imprisonment rates, the legislation would help reduce overcriminalization in the state and help patients get the treatment they need without fear of prosecution.

Moving forward, AFP-GA urges the Georgia Legislature to look for opportunities to encourage entrepreneurship and additional businesses to participate in the market beyond the three licensing classes created in this bill.

AFP-GA, Deputy State Director, Anthony West issued the following statement:

“Sick children and other patients who are already legally authorized to use Low THC Oil should not have to choose between protecting their health or breaking federal law. While the market to sell a legally-approved treatment to patients in need of help should be open to all, Georgia’s Hope Act is a first step toward empowering patients to safeguard their health without fear of legal reprisal. In a state with an already bloated prison population, this bill will help reduce needless overcriminalization and give sick patients the hope they deserve.”

Background:

-GA ranks 9th in overall state imprisonment rate – The Sentencing Project
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “State laws have been eased so those suffering from certain illnesses can use cannabis oil but there is no legal way to bring the substance into Georgia or to cultivate it here.”

– 77% of Georgians think that state’s medical marijuana law should be expanded, including 65% of Republicans, according to a 2018 Atlanta Journal Constitution poll.

-In 2016, more people were arrested for marijuana-related offenses than for murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery, combined, according to the 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Report.