The effort for the Georgia bill has now closed despite the fact that both houses had voted in favor.
Even though both houses in Georgia had voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, the effort died away at midnight on Friday with the close of the legislative session.
The issue was in a stalemate in linking the bill with insurance for autistic children.
The problem wasn’t that the medical marijuana bill wasn’t adequately supported. It was that the Senate and the House had come to a stalemate over the move to link that bill with one that had to do with providing insurance coverage for children with autism. According to Rep. Allen Peake (R – Macon), the key sponsor of the bill, he knew that it wouldn’t be able to pass the House with the provision for autism insurance coverage attached to it, as it would be viewed as something that would raise the cost of health plans for small businesses.
The House passed another medical marijuana bill on Thursday night in the hopes that it would pass the Senate.
Peake called for the Senate to rush and pass the bill before midnight. He tweeted that the bill was on life support once it was in the Senate’s hands.
In the Senate, the chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services committee (which had added the provision for the autism coverage), Sen. Renee Unterman (Gwinett County), said that she insisted upon the provision, and other Senators backed her.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle presided in the Senate chamber that night and took every opportunity to accuse the House of putting off any efforts to assist in moving health care reform for autistic children.
The deadline on was midnight, and it passed without any additional steps begin taken on the bill in either of the houses. That said, the Senate did endorse a committee for the purpose of studying this issue.
Peake took up the cause to legalize medical marijuana after having seen a news report on a 4 year old child whose family was seeking the right for her to be treated with a liquid form of cannabis because it could help to ease the seizures she suffered from a disorder that she had.