GA Medical marijuana bill doomed by powerful forces

GA Medical marijuana bill doomed by powerful forces
Marijuana buds (WALB photo)
Marijuana buds (WALB photo)

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - It is apparent that the medical marijuana cultivation bill that got nowhere in the general assembly in the 2016 session never stood a chance, because some of the most powerful people in Georgia were against it from the get-go.

WXIA's Chris Hopper obtained almost 300 pages of email, that came directly from the governor's office,  through an open records request.

The emails were sent between Macon Representative Allen Peake, the legislator directly behind medical marijuana legislation in Georgia, and Governor Nathan Deal's office, between November of 2015 and March of 2016.

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With no way to purchase the oil here though, challenges remain, so Peake again in 2016 brought legislation to the table, only it appears the table was already set.

The timeline of emails starts in November 2015 with a fact-finding trip to Colorado that was organized by Peake.

On that trip, top members of Deal's staff and Georgia's top law enforcement officials got a behind the scenes look at the marijuana industry.

In email exchanges between the group following that trip, the words "nightmare", "mess", and "slippery slope" were used to express their concerns.

But in an email dated November 16, Ryan Teague, the governor's executive counsel said, "Need to shut down the other trips. Governor not supportive of any further trips on this issue."

The bill never was brought for a vote in the Georgia Senate. Deal signed legislation that legalizes medical marijuana in Georgia last year, but now the problem is how to get it in the Peach State.

People with cancer, sickle cell disease and other illnesses can have 20 ounces of cannabis oil, with a doctor's approval.

But the Catch-22 is that it's not legal to transport the cannabis oil, which is also illegal to cultivate in Georgia.

WXIA and Chris Hopper contributed to this story

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