Medical Marijuana fails, expanded gun carry passes on last day of legislative session
by Sarah Fay Campbell
A bill to decriminalize possession of medicinal marijuana oil for those suffering from certain disorders failed in the final moments of the 2014 Georgia General Assembly, as the House and Senate couldn't agree on language added to House Bill 885 that required insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments.
The autism language, taken from another bill, was added to the medical marijuana bill by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee. The Senate wouldn't budge on the autism language, and the House would not agree to it.
Late in the evening, bill author Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, managed to uncouple the marijuana language from the autism mandate, but the Senate didn't take any action on it.
A bill expanding places where Georgia Weapons Carry License holders can carry firearms and other weapons did pass Thursday night.
"Here's your headline: we did nothing for kids, but we passed a gun bill," said Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta.
Also failing to pass on Thursday was legislation dealing with religious freedom and a pilot program to privatize many of the child welfare duties currently performed by the Department of Family and Children's services.