Georgia’s medical marijuana law just turned one year old

The phones at the Georgia Department of Public Health no longer ring off the hook with people calling to find doctors or asking questions about how the state’s medical marijuana registry works.

Yet Georgia’s quiet revolution in the year since it legalized a limited form of medical marijuana has shown little sign of slowing. Even so, obstacles and risks remain in the push for expansion.

According to one of the lead researchers at Augusta University’s Maedical College of Georgia, state-based clinical trials show promise in using a specific form of medical marijuana called cannabidiol to treat severe epileptic seizures.

The state’s official registry of approved patients, which by late summer last year included about 130 people, now counts about 830 people and climbing.

And yet some parents now gather in virtual chat rooms and their own homes, sharing notes about how to make their own cannabis oil to help treat children dealing with often intractable conditions. Making it is illegal. The state — despite having legalized possession of a limited form of the oil — continues to ban the growing and manufacturing of any form of medical marijuana within state boundaries.

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