Ga. lawmakers back medical marijuana program

ATLANTA (AP) — Medical marijuana would be legalized in Georgia for patients with certain medical illnesses under legislation given initial approval by state lawmakers.

The House of Representatives voted 171-4 on Monday to approve the proposal ahead of an important legislative deadline. It now heads to the state Senate.

Republican state Rep. Allen Peake's bill would revive a long-dormant program allowing academic institutions to distribute medical cannabis to those suffering from medical conditions. The cannabis oil would be administered orally in a liquid, pill or as an injection.

Peake says it will help children who suffer hundreds of seizures daily.

Only a handful of lawmakers voted against the bill. Rep. Sharon Cooper supported it but warned the system may prove unworkable given conflicts with federal law.

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