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Georgia Marijuana Reform Group Sets Legislative Agenda

Georgia C.A.R.E. wants legislators to look at reforming marijuana laws, beginning with the drug's medical use.

A group seeking reform of Georgia’s marijuana laws will head to the state capitol on today, Jan. 14 to begin an educational campaign for its legalization, beginning with medical use of the drug.

James Bell, director of Georgia C.A.R.E., said the marijuana reform coalition wants to start a public discussion on the impact marijuana laws have on the criminal justice system and the public. According to their website, Georgia C.A.R.E. is a project of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, Inc. They have a link to NORML, a national group that advocates for the legalization of marijuana, on their website.

Bell said with the Georgia General Assembly studying reform of the criminal justice system and criminal sanctions, marijuana law reform should also be considered.

“You can not talk about reducing the prison population and reforming Georgia’s criminal code without considering reforming marijuana laws”, Bell said. “We want lawmakers to take a close look at the impact these laws have on our state. We have sat on this issue for far too long.”

Each year, nearly 40,000 arrests are made for violations of marijuana laws putting a strain on the criminal justice system, wasting tax dollars and diverting law enforcement resources away from more serious offenses. A sizeable portion of the drug arrests made by Roswell Police Department each week are for charges related to marijuana.

The first step in reform is to review the medical marijuana law passed unanimously in 1980 by the general assembly, according to Bell. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana measures with no negative impact on public safety.

Georgia C.A.R.E. Legislative Priorities include:

  1. Cannabis (Marijuana) as a Schedule Substance: Designate cannabis (marijuana) as a Schedule V (5) (O.C.G.A. 16-13-29) substance consistent with the “Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act”, (O.C.G.A. 43-34-120).
  2. Special Study Committee on Therapeutic Medical Marijuana: Establish a special study committee to examine reforming and expanding Georgia’s medical marijuana laws (O.C.G.A. 43-34-120); allow stakeholder to offer testimony on the issue and make recommendations for legislative reform.
  3. Special Study Committee on Marijuana Decriminalization: Study the impact of Georgia’s marijuana laws on the criminal justice system and public safety to make recommendations to the Georgia General Assembly concerning law reform.
FlyingTooLow January 14, 2013 at 05:55 PM
We all know that someday, soon, this prohibition will end. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. The memorable day that I met with the parole panel, I asked, "When pot becomes legal, what will my 5 years spent in prison have meant?" Their response, "That is a very philosophical question. We don't deal with philosophy in this office." Case closed...go back to your cell. When the 5 years were gone, I walked out and never looked back. But, I know to this day, there are thousands of Americans still rotting in jail over a plant. I wrote about the escapades that led to my imprisonment...my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank I would be honored by your review.
FlyingTooLow January 14, 2013 at 05:55 PM
The closest I have ever seen marijuana come to harming anyone was during an air drop. We brought in 1100 pounds from Jamaica and dropped it in a peanut field in middle Georgia. The bales were dropped from a small plane at 125 feet altitude. One of the bales, about 80 pounds, missed my compadre by only a few feet... but it surely messed up his truck. You can read about it in: Shoulda Robbed a Bank That is my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
Paul hicks January 14, 2013 at 07:05 PM
...love your truth Brother. Peace... ...if we can find it.
FlyingTooLow January 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM
@ Paul hicks... A million thanks for your comment, Sir. I wish you the very best, Hugh Yonn
jimmie January 19, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Now that your out of prison for trying to destroy america's youth, you may want to read all the MD and NIH studies indicting your lovely plants effects on everything. puff on spicoli...to your own demise.

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