Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday, April 16, 2015, that legalized medical marijuana in Georgia, though tremendous hurdles remain for patients who want to get the drug.

House Bill 1, which took effect immediately, allows cannabis oil to be used to treat eight disorders: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and Sickle Cell disease. Additionally, House Bill 1 makes it legal for patients who suffer from these disorders to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil if a physician signs off. It allows both children and adults as being eligible for treatment and requires that the oil contain no more than 5 percent THC, the high-inducing chemical associated with recreational marijuana use. It also legalizes clinical trials for further study on how the drug works.

However, the biggest obstacle for these patients remains how they’ll obtain the oil. It’s illegal to cultivate marijuana in Georgia, which means families have to trek to other states that have legalized the drug for medical purposes. That makes travel a tricky prospect, since most states, as well as the federal government, make possessing the drug a crime.

Political leaders remain divided over how far the state’s program should go, but advocates contend Georgia should next legalize and regulate the in-state cultivation of cannabis oil.

The state must now build a system from the ground up that allows patients and their doctors to apply for a permit to legally use the drug and address legal questions in allowing the use of a federally banned drug

In Georgia it is still illegal to possess or sell marijuana in any amount, which can result in a minimum of a misdemeanor or felony, fines and jail time and revocation of driving privileges. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a marijuana-related reason and you’re looking for a bail bond company you can trust, give us a call.