A Republican lawmaker in Georgia is risking arrest and felony charges for distributing marijuana oils to residents suffering from debilitating conditions.
Georgia Rep. Allen Peake is the leader of a statewide distribution network that sidesteps the law to get medical marijuana to residents who need it. Georgia has a medical marijuana program, which Peake helped expand in 2015, allowing registered patients to posses cannabis oil with low levels of THC. The law bars anyone from growing, purchasing or importing marijuana from another state, reports AZ Family.
Peake, a pro-life Christian, said he is motivated by the contradictory status of the law, which prevents registered medical marijuana patients from actually accessing the substance.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to be able to help get product to these families, these citizens who have debilitating illnesses,” Peake told AZ Family. “While we have a law that allows you to legally possess it, we don’t have a law that gives you the ability to be able to access it. We now have, for all practical purposes, a distribution network, where we will funnel this product to families who are properly registered with the state and have the legal right to possess up to twenty ounces.”
Peake is aware of the questionable legality of his actions but is so far avoiding arrest by not charging anyone for the product. A shipment of marijuana oils arrives at his office from Colorado once a month, which Peake then distributes for free. While he does not pay anyone directly for the shipments, he donates roughly $100,000 annually to a foundation supporting medical marijuana research in Colorado.
Peake is getting marijuana oils to at least 1,300 medical patients in Georgia and says more than 20 state politicians are referring constituents to him for the service, including political rivals. He is currently fighting for a proposal expanding the list of qualifying conditions for possessing medical marijuana in the state.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington, D.C., where it is also legal for recreational use.
The parents of children with severe epilepsy have often risked breaking the law to secure the therapeutic oils for their kids. Many have traveled to Colorado dispensaries and illegally transported the oils over state lines. Some legal dispensaries in certain states will ship oils, but that risks a violation of federal law.
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