Ralston: ‘Really, fervently hope’ medical cannabis bill passes quickly in 2015

AJC photo / Jason Getz

AJC photo / Jason Getz

AJC photo / Jason Getz

Two of the most hotly contested issues from this year’s Georgia legislative session, medical cannabis and a private-insurance mandate for autism, remain on the docket for 2015. In an interview this afternoon, Speaker David Ralston predicted an easy time in his chamber for one of those issues, but not necessarily the other.

HB 1, pre-filed by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would allow the parents of children who suffer severe seizures to have access to cannabidiol oil, which is made from an extract of the cannabis plant and has been effective in reducing the number and severity of seizures in some children. Here’s what Ralston said:

“I really, fervently hope that — and I expect — the House will move House Bill 1 quickly. And I hope the Senate will look at that issue on its own merits and join with us in passing that bill. Representative Peake has done as good a job pushing a piece of legislation as I’ve seen in a lot of years around this building. He brings great passion and just heartfelt concern for these families on this issue. But he’s done his homework. And I think you’re going to see a very well thought-out and very well put-together bill and I’m hoping we can pass that quickly and get it over to the Senate, and that they will pass it quickly and that we can address that issue.”

Last year’s medical cannabis bill gained surprising momentum over the course of the session but eventually stalled. That was in large part because the Senate attached to it a separate bill, opposed by the House, to mandate autism coverage by private insurance plans. The House disagreed with that combination, and both efforts died.

Based on what Ralston said about that mandate, it sounds as if the House’s concerns about the costs of such a mandate haven’t faded away:

“These are emotional issues, and I get that. But at the end of the day, we’re talking about a mandate on small businesses. Either we are true to our principles in terms of trying to avoid those mandates so that people can keep their jobs and small businesses can afford to stay open, or we don’t. We’ve made some significant strides in terms of adding funding in the budget for two different autism treatment centers, research facilities, last session. I certainly support doing what we can in that area again this session. The governor put in a pilot program in the state budget which will enable us to really know what the cost of those mandates will be. I kept asking, all (through the 2014) session, somebody, tell me what this is going to cost? Nobody could ever tell me. They always would tell me, it’s not going to cost much. Well, you know, ‘not much’ is in the eye of the small-business beholder. … I’m hoping we can have some accurate and reliable data from that (pilot program) that will let us make an educated decision on that issue.

“That was my whole problem with having that issue coupled with the medical cannabis bill last session. In the medical cannabis bill, no one is asking for a penny. They’re simply asking for the opportunity not to be prosecuted for seeking care for a child. So I thought that was a very unfortunate coupling of those two issues.  They’re both important, they’re both emotional, and they both need to be considered on their own merits.”

Reader Comments 0

99 comments
jezel
jezel

Would be great to see the names of the legislators opposed to the cannabis bill and anyone else who is standing in the way. Is this some religious issue ?

notagain
notagain

Just asking do pigs eat cannabis?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

They're tear gassing protesters in Nancy Pelosi's district.

Where's the outrage?

schnirt 

Stephenson_Billings
Stephenson_Billings

The "You Want Fries With That?" jobs report


"A few figures to consider: That big headline number translated into just 4,000 more working Americans. There were, at the same time, another 115,000 on the unemployment line. That disparity can be explained through an expanding labor force, which grew 119,000, though the participation rate among that group remained at 62.8 percent, which is just off the year's worst level and around a 36-year low.


But wait, there's more: The jobs that were created skewed heavily toward lower quality. Full-time jobs declined by 150,000, while part-time positions increased by 77,000."


http://www.cnbc.com/id/102243878

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

How do you get rich working in government? 


There's^^ your flaw.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

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Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

Or you can eat healthier food, which will obviate the need to take synthetic heartburn meds.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

 On the heels of Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) crushing loss in Louisiana Senate, Republicans were quick to tie her defeat to the Democratic Party's heir apparant: Hillary Clinton. 

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus crowed that Louisianans had “rejected the Democrat agenda and the Obama-Clinton policies that have produced higher healthcare costs and job-killing regulations.”


fact



http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/226237-republicans-tie-landrieu-loss-to-hillary

Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

Unless you're scared of her. As Republicans seem to be.

As an aside, why are refusing to answer my question, Captain-Trollius? Are you afraid?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@Tiberius-Constitutionus It's called respecting the blog rules. 


And by the way, no one here is a hillaryphobe, we just don't want to be led by someone who is clearly unqualified.

Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

You may disagree with her positions, which is fine. But she's actually very qualified for the job.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@Tiberius-Constitutionus How do you figure that? She wrecked the world in just two short years at secstate.


Is that how y'all judge success, by how much damage to the United States your politicians can do?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

We never criticize Republicans?


LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Come up for some air, man.

JamVet
JamVet

@Captain-Obvious @JamVet @IReportYouWhine 

You don't do anything that requires honesty, liar.

This is yet another example.


So here's your chance to put up these supposed posts or shut up.


(i.e., shut up and quit lying...)


I'm off to see some sweet water falls not far from here but will be back in a couple of hours to see what other lies you and Whiner have come up with.


Toodles...

straker
straker

JamVet - "their primary allegiance is to the GOP first, last and always"


And, the GOP's primary allegiance is to their corporate sponsors, first, last and always.


They count on their useful idiots to continue to vote against their own best interests.

straker
straker

JamVet - "play your prostrate role"


They aren't known as "useful idiots" for nothing.

JamVet
JamVet

@straker 

In my nearly sixty years on this planet, I have NEVER seen a lousier American than the modern day, fascistic, rabid Republican. 


Not even the Black Panthers were as anti-American as these Bundy lovers.


They were just marginalized fruticakes.


But the neo-cons and conservative frauds? They empower fruitcakes who can and have done great damage to this beloved constitutional democracy.

They profess to love this country and YET....

Every single thing that they write here about the United States of America is negative. You will never find ANY of them who extol America and her endless virtues. Not ever.

They profess to not love the Republican party more than the United States of America and YET...

Not one of them ever dares to utter the first significant damning thing about the GOP, though their are literally countless examples. (The Savior Ronnie taught his flock very well!) Their only observations about that gang with an R after their names is always positive!


Their primary allegiance is to the GOP first, last and always...


 

 

JamVet
JamVet

Protests are un-American. 

Unless of course there is a parasitic, racist "rancher" involved. Who is such a scummy traitor that he denies the very legitimacy of the United States of America! (After twenty years of this thieve's theivery why haven't we just droned his ranch, yet? LOL!) 

Then you'll get thousands and thousands of his traitorous GOP kind to cheer him on! Many of whom are hoping to get the chance to kill some federal law enforcement people.

But otherwise? Murder by cop? The decades-long raping of the American middle class? Redress of grievances?

That is just constitutional claptrap for communists.

Ask any new age, backwards thinking Republican eunuch.


Your GOP BIG Brothers know what is good for you! Far better than you timid ones know what that is.

Play your prostrate role. Be servile! Be compliant! Work for you chump change! Honor your newly elected Saviors - their Kingdom come, their will be done; in Washington as it is in Milton County!

So yes, as you already know, it is best for you to do absolute nothing. Like a beaten wife, keep you nasty holes shut and just hang around for more beatings.

As far as a more perfect union? Nonsense! And nothing more than feel-good Founding Father liberalism.

Just keep patiently waiting for the trickle down freebies that you were promised in exchange for voting for your anointed ones and monied betters.

Patience, Poindexters! Those crumbs and leftovers that the 1% deem that you deserve are coming! (Alas, the trickle down spout is clogged up at the moment.)


Carry on, testiculalry disabled ones.

Or should I say, don't carry on?.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@JamVet

Michael Bell's family won their civil action suit in 2010. Before that?

And so, together with other families who lost loved ones, I launched a campaign in the Wisconsin legislature calling for a new law that would require outside review of all deaths in police custody. I contacted everybody I could. In the beginning, I contacted the governor’s office, the attorney general and the U.S. attorney for Wisconsin. They didn’t even return my phone calls or letters. I even contacted Oprah, every Associated Press bureau in the nation, every national magazine and national news agency and didn’t hear a word.

What does ^^^ that tell you? The officer who shot Michael Bell, Jr. was Latino (Gonzalez). Micheal Bell, Jr. was white.

Selective outrage?

Sure looks like that's what's going on.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/what-i-did-after-police-killed-my-son-110038_Page2.html#ixzz3LFKfLyUS

straker
straker

FIGM02


It must be nice to have the time and money to be able to do nothing but engage in endless and mindless street protests.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@straker 

The epithet "mindless" reflects what is in the mind of the beholder.

Robtown
Robtown

Or rush to Nevada and set up check points around a moochers ranch

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

This approach to a problem is silly and counterproductive.

Metro Atlantans continue protests of recent grand jury decisions

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/march-for-justice-following-ny-grand-jury-decision/njMsW/

After so many, it begins to look like a fad...a trend...something akin to The Ice Bucket Challenge.

This, on the other hand...

Michael Bell Sr.: Death By Police Is A Blue Problem, Not Black And White

http://radio.foxnews.com/2014/12/03/michael-bell-sr-death-by-police-is-a-blue-problem-not-black-and-white/

is a more serious approach worthy of attention.

Rather than complain about the process, CHANGE THE LAW! 

straker
straker

Colorado is raking in the tax money by allowing legal pot sales.


Money talks.


So, its just a matter of time till EVERY state in America allows legal pot sales.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@straker  Very true, at one time gambling was illegal in almost every state but Nevada, now almost every state has at least one casino.

MHSmith
MHSmith

It seems every time the "MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA STRICTLY MONITORED UNDER A GA LICENSED DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION" is brought up for discussion the subject always suddenly expands far beyond the very restrictive boundaries of the topic.


This "BILL"... is NOT about the recreational use of "POT" or any other drug.

.

Hopeful, the allowable irrelevant banter that has - nada, zilch, zero - absolutely nothing at all to do with the legitimate medical use of a drug, which does not of necessity include smoking a joint, will not drowned that message out, or defeat the valid purpose of this bill.   

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@MHSmith  We use Morphine for medical purpose for crying out loud, what harm would THC do to help those in pain.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@InTheMiddle2 @MHSmith 

None. Furthermore, far, far, FAR more harmful drugs are given to people than marijuana or morphine under the monitoring of a state licensed medical doctor.   

The medical use of ANY drug or herb or substance consumed under the strict lawful monitoring of a state licensed medical doctor is not harmful - Et al the hypocritical oath - and I even support the "try before you die" lawful use of non-FDA approved drugs or herbs or substances, which are fine by me when the individual is terminally ill and has no other medical options. Along with laws that protect "legally" the "right to die with  dignity" for the terminally ill, as they so choose.

I strongly support HB1 and the MEDICAL use -  NOT RECREATIONAL  consumption  - of any drug when a state licensed medical Doctor prescribes and monitors the use thereof. 

Are we clear on that point now?  


Too bad it seems you completely misunderstood what my initial comment said, so I've reiterated it one more time so hopefully there are no further misunderstandings by anyone.



Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

What if your hero, Cliven Bundy, was toting his gun, high on weed, doing his traitorous thing? Would you still regard him a great American?

Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

My, my, Captain-Trollius. Why so angry? Are you back to denying calling Cliven a hero? Or are you just too afraid to answer question?

eTalker
eTalker

Why are they even debating whether to stop arresting people for the possession of a plant?  Too many uninformed people in elected offices.  Popularity doesn't usually equate to intelligence or common sense.  

Area Man
Area Man

Just legalize it already. I've said it numerous times in here before, but it's just not a big deal. I had a medical card in California for years, and it was basically decriminalized anyway, and it just doesn't matter. The same people who smoke will continue smoking, and I GUARANTEE that once the initial novelty wears off, it's not something that will even come up that often.


Whatever they do, and whenever they do it, the state has to ensure that private citizens and/or medical cardholders will be permitted to grow their own plants. In California, we could have ten mature plants and twice as many starts at one time. This is important because one thing you seldom hear about is the cost of marijuana in the dispensaries in states where it is sold. In the Los Angeles area, most strains were in the $400 per ounce range.

Cinesias
Cinesias

If we legalize cannabis in any way, we're going to have hundreds of thousands of Georgians lying in ditches with cannabis needles in their arms, dead from overdoses.


Save Amurica. 


Keep cannabis illegal.

straker
straker

notagain - "what were the results"


Gone with the wind.

notagain
notagain

What were the results of the Georgia Supreme Court investigation of the Formal Complaint against David Edmund Ralston???

straker
straker

Nobody_Knows


To name a few:


TV Programs - Cosmos, Modern Marvels, Mystery Diagnosis, Nature & Nova


Magazines - Popular Science, Discover, & Scientific American


Books by - Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Steven Hawking & Jared Diamond

straker
straker

Tiberius - "people who bother to inform themselves about sciency things and stuff"


Well, see, I DO watch science programs on TV and read science books and magazines.


Still, this is the FIRST time I've ever heard that pot can help in cancer treatment.


I'll bet I'm not alone on this.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@straker


Which science programs do you watch and which books and magazines have you read?



Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

@straker Star Trek, Star Wars, etc., don't count. ;)  (But are best enjoyed after pulling a giant tube. Don't ask me how I know; I never exhale.)

MHSmith
MHSmith

@straker 

Ever hear of MD ANDERSON or SLOAN KETTERING

.

.



From MD ANDERSON


New preclinical research shows that cannabinoid cell surface receptor CB1 plays a tumor-suppressing role in human colorectal cancer.

CB1 is well established for relieving pain and nausea, elevating mood and stimulating appetite by serving as a docking station for the cannabinoid group of signaling molecules. It now may serve as a new path for cancer prevention or treatment.

“We’ve found that CB1 expression is lost in most colorectal cancers, and when that happens a cancer-promoting protein is free to inhibit cell death,” says senior author Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president of M. D. Anderson.

 http://www.mdanderson.org/publications/conquest/issues/2008-fall/turning-on-cb1-conquest-fall-2008.html

.

.

From Sloan Kettering

 

marijuana (MAYR-ih-WAH-nuh) The dried leaves and flowering tops of the or plant. Marijuana contains active chemicals called cannabinoids that cause drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. Marijuana may help treat the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting, pain, and cachexia (loss of body weight and muscle mass). Also called Cannabis.

 http://www.mskcc.org/glossary/M/marijuana