Medical marijuana legislation is making headway in Nebraska, Missouri and Georgia.
In Nebraska, the state chapter of NORML has begun circulating a petition to put a medical marijuana initiative up for voter approval this year. According to the director of the state chapter, John Smith, the group needs to collect 125,000 signatures by July 1. So far, the group has collected between 3,000 and 4,000 signatures.
In Georgia, Republican Allen Peake introduced a medical marijuana bill to the state’s House on Jan. 26 with 90 or so co-sponsors. The bill legalizes the use of CBD-rich marijuana oil for patients; however it does not legalize marijuana flowers or enable dispensaries. The House Health and Human Services Committee will begin hearing testimony on the bill starting next week.
The bill will require 91 votes to pass in the House; 29 votes to pass in the Senate and approval from Governor Nathan Deal in order to become law.
In Missouri, a medical marijuana bill and a decriminalization bill were filed with the state’s General Assembly on Jan. 13 by Rep. Rory Ellinger. The bills have not yet been assigned to committee hearings, however the medical bill is expected to be assigned to the Health Care Policy Committee, and the decriminalization bill will likely head to the House Downsizing State Government Committee.
The medical bill in Missouri would legalize, regulate and tax medical marijuana, and allow patients over the age of 21 to purchase the plant with a doctor’s prescription. It is modeled after a Illinois’ medical marijuana bill, which was approved in 2013.
This week, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander began taking public comments on both bills.
Missouri also saw a bill introduced on Jan. 29 that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. That bill has yet to be assigned to a committee hearing, and lawmakers have not taken comments on it yet.