Georgia House votes to legalize medical marijuana - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia House votes to legalize medical marijuana

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ATLANTA (CBS46/AP) -

A bill that would legalize a type of medical marijuana to treat certain seizure disorders will now go to the Senate.

Rep. Allen Peake's bill would revive a long-dormant research program allowing academic institutions to distribute medical cannabis to those suffering from medical conditions. The cannabis oil would be administered orally in a liquid form.

Peake has said the cannabis oil is low in THC, the active ingredient that produces the marijuana high.

The House of Representatives voted 171-4 to approve the proposal ahead of an important legislative deadline.

Monday is known as Crossover Day. Under legislative rules, any bill that is not approved by at least one chamber in the General Assembly is unlikely to become law this year.

Earlier in the day, the Georgia Senate voted to approve a bill restricting abortion coverage in plans available through the state health insurance exchange.

State senators voted 35-18 to advance the bill, which now heads to the House for consideration.

The federal health care law allows states to draft legislation prohibiting abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an exchange. Supporters of the Georgia effort say 24 states have done so.

Democrats opposed the bill, calling it a continuation of a "war on women" and saying it infringes on a woman's right to choose.

Senate Bill 98 also prohibits the state employee health plan from offering abortion coverage except in the case of a medical emergency.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.