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Medical Marijuana Advocates Outraged Over Georgia PTSD Bill

March 20, 2018
(ChrisBoswell/iStock)
ATLANTA (AP) — Medical marijuana advocates expressed outrage Monday over the apparent stalling of a proposal that would expand Georgia’s low-THC medical cannabis oil program to include those with post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic, intractable pain.
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Members of the Georgia’s Hope advocacy group held a news conference inside the state Capitol and questioned why the bill, which passed the House overwhelmingly last month, hasn’t gotten a Senate committee hearing.

“This is what, our third study committee? I think we have enough evidence.”

Rep. David Clark (R-Buford)

Rep. David Clark, the bill’s sponsor, accused Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate and the president of the Senate, of “playing politics” and stifling the proposal by instead calling for another study committee on medical marijuana. He and other lawmakers who support the measure joined the news conference.

“This is what, our third study committee? I think we have enough evidence from the states that have passed this to know that it’s helping people,” Clark, a Buford Republican and Army veteran, told The Associated Press after the news conference.

Those suffering from PTSD who have access to cannabis oil are less likely to turn to highly addictive opioid painkillers, Clark said.

There are currently nearly 4,000 Georgians who are legally allowed to have low-THC cannabis oil, although many have complained that it’s difficult to get access to it because it cannot be cultivated in the state, Rep. Allen Peake said.

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In a statement, Cagle said he has supported previous legislation that expanded cannabis oil access. He also said he wants the study committee to examine how to make the medication more accessible to those with prescriptions.

“I’m committed to supporting responsible legislation that ensures Georgians who can benefit from this medication have safe, secure and reliable access,” Cagle said.

Sen. Renee Unterman is the chairwoman of the Health and Human Services committee, where Clark’s proposal has languished. Unterman said the bill is likely dead for this legislative session, which ends March 29. She said she is instead focused on expanding accessibility through the study committee.

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Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Two of Cagle’s Republican rivals in the race, Clay Tippins and Sen. Michael Williams, attended the news conference in support of the bill.

Tippins, a businessman and former Navy SEAL, also used it as an opportunity to blast Cagle.

“(Proposing a study committee) is taking an important issue in an election year, giving it lip service and quietly killing it and acting like something is being done,” Tippins said.

After the news conference, a group of advocates filed into Cagle’s office to confront him about the issue. Cagle’s personal assistant told the group that Cagle was busy the rest of the day, but that they could call to schedule a meeting later on the issue.

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  • lovingc

    The bill is likely dead for this session, how many vets do you pan on killing because of politics?

    • Jackson Shredder

      I agree. I bet a lot more people will kill when caught rather than face life.

    • Jeffrey Avery

      they love there politics more than the vets,,,and i think they hate us,,,happy posting guys,,,it has been a lot of fun,posting and sharing thoughts and ideas and a zinger or two,even if we disagree on a lot of issues,,,have faith that we will get there eventually….hey,guys ,i’m going to take a break for a few days,,noy feelin wel,dont take that as my defeat,i’ll be back to give you guys a hard time soon,,,your all my freinds,thank you,i had alot of fun….peace out….

  • The D.O.G. Disabled Organic Ga

    See this is true BS what gives one individual the right to say what Medicine works better for another and what we can use to make us feel better… this is straight bullshit in GA it’s time GA takes a stand against our government. They have no right to stand in front of something that 29 other states support… there was a federal law that states if over 50% of the states support it medically then it would be open to medical use but again the government has screwed us. It’s just another way for them to control a free and democratic society. Put it to a vote and then stand by your word federal and state fuck this dumbass old white socialist society.

  • janet P

    I am a 54 year old woman who’s been struggling with PTSD and chronic pain for 30 years. The last 5 years both issues so severe and unremitting that I was almost 98% home bound. So, I finally got the courage to see a surgeon, and was told since I already had one failed back
    surgery and the injury to my neck has multiple levels of damage….too
    much damage and so surgery couldn’t been done…..not an option. He told me just
    go home and do the best you can. So this was not my first rodeo with pain and ptsd. But I was often either confined to chair or bed due to pain, inflammation, and often times trouble walking or even being able to stand. Being trapped in my own body that would not work just made the PTSD symptoms worse. The pain meds I was taking seemed to really amplify the nightmares and that seemed to make the daytime flashes worse. there was a dis-associative component there. I was losing time I could not account for, had trouble with either losing my vision or I either could not talk or had disturbances in time, place, hearing, and vision. This in turn caused longer periods of no sleep. When I was lucky enough, or exhausted enough, my startle response was that much worse. If I was startled in my sleep due to an noise or some kind of movement or nightmare, I would jerk and swing around and injure myself with cracked or broken tooth or even dislocating my arm. This in turn led to more sleepless nights and days, turned into months, and months turned into years of barely no sleep, more pain, more nightmares and flashbacks. I became unable to sustain any relationships in my life and was unable to work. I lost almost everything. After a round of a new and major ant-inflammatory medication (Valtaren) I was able to walk again. So I went from using a walker to using a cane. At this point, I was so grateful, worried about relapse in my physical health, I basically, sold, gave away, and donated, most of the possessions, packed up my car and drove north and over the border to Canada. I have dual citizenship, and I declared my intent to reclaim my citizenship at the Canadian border. After some time and some forms, I drove on through. I started a new life in the North and that included a medical cannabis card. No more pain meds, they ripped up my stomach, I couldn’t eat anymore, or sleep, and it doesn’t help much anyway with the pain. I am now off all medications, 10 in total, and that includes Tylenol and Ibuprofen use. I don’t use that either. I only use the cannabis. I am now able to eat small meals. I never thought I would ever see 5 hours of continuous sleep again in my life, let alone 6 to 9 hours. I am able to think more clearly. I still struggle with PTSD, but the cannabis helps. I was having trouble being around people, and its hard to come inside sometimes. There are times I feel like its hard to breath, and so being outdoors seems to be the only time thats not an issue…..but thats getting better slowly. I’m also in therapy for PTSD and we are going to try some things differently. I work really hard to feel better. I now am able to walk, and the recovery was long, but I don’t need a cane anymore. I am now up to between 2 and 5 miles a day of walking/hiking. I really like hill climbing. It adds a little something different to the routine…and a great way to add more resistance and better balance. I do tai chi, a little basic yoga, and I have restrictions on what i eat. I have lost 50 lbs one year later. I am even walking when its 15 degrees Fahrenheit. I am currently struggling with the metric system though lol The bottom line, I now have the right to choose and I have hope. Both, I did not have in the conservative midwest. I do realize how lucky I am. Most people don’t have the out option that I choose, because I knew my options were few and eventually with my health issues I was going to lose the battle. Choice, hope, and quality of life…..and now I am speaking to all the legislators out there. The Republican and Democratic legislators, the ones that just talk a lot of crap, and some might have good intentions but they end up doing nothing in the end…..I am talking to you now! You should be ashamed of your selves. No one should have to leave a Country they love so they can get better or survive. You are not advocating hard enough for your constituents. They need the right to choose for themselves. That is your only job…a gov’t by the people for the people. Try to remember that. After 30 years, my time ran out, and I was faced with some hard choices Now, supply is not a problem, neither is the law. My card says that I have the right to make my own oil..and also decide how much THC is or is not in my oil..and I can take it off my taxes too. Also, they treat PTSD in the north differently. They say if you were in military, a EMS/first responder, or a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault you are going to need treatment at some point for PTSD. Unfortunately, these are all categories I can check the boxes on. I was also married to a combat soldier for 20 years. Also, if you served in the Canadian Armed Forces……the VA pays for your cannabis. Its not perfect here, but they clearly have it together enough to vote and put a system in place that works? No matter their own personal feelings on the issue. They clearly are working for their people in this situation.

  • Paul Sorensen

    Cagle is a horse’s ass. Vets are in pain and he’s playing games. Pathetic.

  • etowah

    You know… the GA Senate has reduced the THC content of the “marijuana pill” that is legal to a few people in GA to 3%! It is useless. Our state lawmakers are more concerned that sick people not feel better than anything else. It is sickening. Why is it wrong to take something to feel better?
    Georgia needs to get with the program. We need to legalize marijuana, allow people to choose the strain that best treats their problem. I am old enough to do that and old enough to realize that I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HEALTH. I have to choose the right doctors. I have to make sure that the medicine prescribed to me works and that the side effects aren’t worse than the sickness. I’ve lived with chronic pain for over 10 years. Medical marijuana would help me to live a better life but since it would also make me feel better, many people think it is evil. That is all I can figure… they think it’s evil to take a substance to feel better… while they sip their Scotch and water. Hypocrites!
    More worried about being re-elected that doing what is right for the people of the state of Georgia.
    Again.. don’t forget, for many conditions a 3% THC pill with CDB will not help.
    One of the big ways marijuana helps is by distraction from your pain or other problem. It is not a sin to feel better!