Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Law and Child Custody

Posted by Doug Lewis | Apr 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

This is the first post in a series that will discuss the possible effect of Georgia's new medical marijuana law on divorce and child custody in the State of Georgia.  This first post will generally discuss Georgia's new medical marijuana law.

Georgia's New Medical Marijuana Law

The Georgia state legislature overwhelmingly passed a limited medical marijuana bill in March, 2015, known as “Haleigh's Hope Act” which allows patients, including children, to use cannabis oil for eight specific serious medical conditions.   The effect of the new bill will allow qualifying patients to possess non-intoxicating cannabis oil in Georgia without being subjected to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Governor Nathan Deal previously signed an executive order which requires certain state agencies to prepare for the enactment of Georgia's medical marijuana bill.  Governor Deal is expected to sign the bill into law very soon.

Although the new bill is not nearly as far reaching as the medical marijuana bills that have passed in states like Colorado and Washington, it is a very significant step for the legislature as efforts in the past to pass a medical marijuana bill in Georgia have all failed.   It is believed that Georgia would be the twelfth U.S. state to approve the use of non-euphoric cannabis oil.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

The new Georgia medical marijuana bill will allow for the use of cannabis oil for treatment of the following eight serious medical conditions: certain types of cancer, seizure disorders, Parkinson's Disease, Crohn's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Sickle Cell Disease, ALS or Lou Gerig's Disease, and Mitiochondrial Disease.  The new law does not allow for the use of medical marijuana for autism, PTSD, or fibromyalgia.

How to become a Qualified Patient and Register for Medical Marijuana Oil

Only a physician can recommend cannabis oil for a patient who has been diagnosed with one of the specified illnesses.  Once a patient is qualified then he/she must register with the Georgia Department of Public Health at which time they will receive a registration card to be able to use the oil.  The medical marijuana oil must contain no more than 5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and must be in a pharmaceutical container with the percentage of THC clearly stated.

If the patient is a minor child, under 18 years old, then the parent must obtain a registration card which designates them as the child's caregiver.

Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis

The bill created a Commission on Medical Cannabis to study the possibility of an in-state cultivation delivery system in Georgia.  The new law does not address where qualified patients can obtain their marijuana oil medicine.

Georgia's new Medical Marijuana Law Does not Legalize Marijuana in Georgia

The new law does not legalize marijuana in the State of Georgia, rather it only decriminalizes the possession of a legal amount of cannabis oil by a qualified patient.

The next post in this series will discuss the possible effects of the new Georgia Medical Marijuana law on child custody in the State of Georgia.

If you have any questions about divorce or child custody please contact attorney Doug Lewis by phone at 770-682-3765 or via email at [email protected] for free initial consultation.

Lawrenceville Divorce Lawyer Douglas W. Lewis has over twenty years of experience in Gwinnett County and the Atlanta Metro area handling divorce, legitimation, paternity and child custody cases, family law cases, personal injury cases, criminal defense, civil litigation cases and estate planning matters.  If you have any questions please call the Lawrenceville office for a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an office consultation.  You can contact attorney Doug Lewis by telephone at 770-682-3765, via email.

About the Author

Doug Lewis

Doug is an experienced trial lawyer and advocate with a particular emphasis in family law, civil litigation and criminal defense matters.  As a family lawyer, he has represented a wide range of clients in nearly every type of situation, including, complex and simple divorces, custody disputes, contentious move away proceedings, modification of child support and custody cases, contempt actions and restraining/protective order proceedings.


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Douglas W. Lewis, Attorney at Law

My philosophy is to treat you with the same care and respect as I would for one of my own family. I am committed to providing a high level of personal care and attention to every aspect of your case until it is resolved. I will work closely with you and provide individualized attention in my aim to resolve your legal challenges in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

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