The number of Georgians with cards allowing possession of medical cannabis has soared more than 70 percent in one year.
Currently, 14,511 people in Georgia have permission to possess ‘‘low THC oil,’’ officials of the state’s Department of Public Health said this week. That’s up from 8,402 about a year ago.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, the one that gives users a “high.” The increase in cardholders comes despite the fact that it’s currently illegal to bring medical marijuana into the state.
Since 2015, Georgia has allowed people with several medical conditions to possess the oil, and it maintains a list of “permitted conditions” that can qualify a patient to do so. Last year, the state Legislature approved a bill allowing the production and sale of medical marijuana in Georgia.
A new commission has been formed to figure out how to produce or import the low THC oil.
The leading health condition among cardholders is “intractable pain,’’ which was added to the list of permitted conditions in 2017. That’s followed by peripheral neuropathy, cancer, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, autism, and Crohn’s disease.
Georgia’s medical marijuana law allows qualified patients to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil, derived from the marijuana plant.
Colin Smith, clinical assistant professor at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, said Wednesday that the increase in Georgia cardholders probably reflects current pain management practices.
“Physicians are moving away from prescribing opioids,’’ Smith said. Doctors are seeing low THC oil as an “alternative solution’’ to opioids, he said, even though it’s illegal to import the product into Georgia.
Currently, almost 1,000 physicians have registered to prescribe medical marijuana in Georgia.
DUI Laws | What You Need to Know
The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:
- 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
- 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
- 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.
Georgia State law also requires a clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:
- Drug Possession
- Other drug offenses
- Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol
Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.
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