ATLANTA — The state board that oversees Georgia’s medical policy is gearing up for clinical trials of medical marijuana. Board members are acting on a law that’s been on the books for decades
The state board that oversees Georgia’s medical policy is gearing up for clinical trials of medical marijuana
In 1981 the Georgia Legislature passed the “Medical Marijuana Necessities Act”.
The law created a state-run program to test the benefits of pot on cancer and glaucoma patients. But the program was defunded when Ronald Reagan declared his war on drugs.
Now the State Composite Medical Board is putting together a group of doctors and pharmacists to restart clinical trials of marijuana.
Chairman Alexander Gross says the board will also look at bringing medical marijuana to Georgia.
"[We will look at] how the medical marijuana could be prescribed, who it would be prescribed to and what kind of monitoring would be required for individuals who are receiving medical marijuana," says Gross. "Pharmacies will have to be established who are going to be approved by the board that would be able to dispense the product."
David Clark is an attorney with the Georgia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He says bringing medical marijuana to Georgia could be an uphill battle.
"The fact that you’re appointing doctors to the board to qualify patients doesn’t mean that they’re going to start signing up patients," says Clark. "The legislature could repeal the law tomorrow and it wouldn’t shock me because we have a very conservative legislature."
The program would be limited to terminal cancer patients and glaucoma patients who have exhausted all other treatments.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana.
By Noel Brown
Thu., April 21, 2011
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