SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – Georgia doctors are calling the medical marijuana bill that passed earlier this year a catch-22.
It is legal for patients to have it in Georgia, but patients will still have to break the law just to get the low-level THC oil.
This week, the Georgia Department of Public Health opened the online registry where doctors can apply for patients to legally carry the drug that can be used to help or treat conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, even late-stage cancer.
“So, depending on the condition, it might make them more comfortable which improves their quality of life, which is huge, or it might actually treat the underlying condition,” said Memorial Health’s Dr. Eric Pearlman.
Dr. Pearlman says he has some patients who may benefit from the oil.
Here is how the process works. Doctors first have to register themselves into the database and then they can only recommend eligible patients to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
“The state will give you a card that says you are authorized to carry it. You can only carry up to 20 ounces,” said Dr. Pearlman.
Where do patients then go to get the oil? That’s the catch. You can’t buy the medical oil anywhere in Georgia. You will have to cross state lines. But, get this:
“The federal law says it’s illegal to transport it across state lines,” said Dr. Pearlman.
If a patient drives to Colorado to get the oil and is pulled over on the way back in a state where it’s illegal, the Georgia-authorized card would not protect patients from possibly facing felony or misdemeanor charges. So what are patients supposed to do?
“The bill is specifically quiet on that,” said Dr. Pearlman. “It specifically says it’s not addressing how patients gets it.”
That means Georgia patients will still have to break the law in order to legally carry low THC oil, but Dr. Pearlman believes that is not going to stop folks from taking that risk.
Click here for more information about the medical marijuana registry.
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