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Marijuana Advocates Respond to Marijuana Poll Question

Should marijuana be legal? Do you support medical use of marijuana?

Atlanta Georgia:  The number of Georgians supporting marijuana law reform is growing according to a recent poll conducted by Landmark/RosettaStone. The poll asked “Do you support or oppose Georgia loosening its laws governing the possession and consumption of marijuana? Thirty three percent (33%) said “YES” with nearly ten percent (9.6%) expressing “NO OPINION”.

These numbers are encouraging according to James Bell, director of Georgia CARE (Campaign for Access, Reform & Education) a marijuana law reform advocacy group.

Georgia CARE launched a public awareness campaign in 2012 to educate citizens, media and lawmakers as to why Georgia should investigate reforming its antiquated and detrimental marijuana laws that can land a person in state prison for up to ten (10) years for mere possession of more than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana.  The campaign has prompted numerous online and newspaper polls and public debate.

Bell cautioned that “Liberty and justice should never be determined by an opinion poll. We must look at these laws and determine what we have actually accomplished by arresting, prosecuting and spending tax dollars to go after otherwise law abiding citizens,” Bell said. Nearly 40,000 marijuana arrests occur each year in Georgia. 

Bell also cautioned that this one-question poll may not indicate the actual views of the public, especially with the issue of medical marijuana. He said various polls have indicated the public supports medical marijuana and cited a little known fact that the Georgia legislature unanimous passed a medical marijuana research act in 1980 that acknowledged medical benefits from the plant.  Eighteen states (18) and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana bills and two (2) states, Colorado and Washington, have decriminalized “recreational use”. 

“The best way to determine support for marijuana reform is to ask your friends, neighbors and associates their opinions,” according to Bell. Georgia CARE receives numerous emails and phone calls everyday from people in all walks of life encouraging their efforts to change Georgia’s laws.

Georgia CARE’s position is that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco and points to the 18th Amendment (alcohol prohibition) as an “ugly scar on our Constitution” that seemed popular at the time until women, clergy and doctors took to the streets and began to educate the public of the negative impact prohibition had on society. Opinions changed and the amendment was repealed.

“Georgia lawmakers are currently engaged in reforming Georgia’s criminal justice system and marijuana law reform should be part of this discussion”, said Bell. “This indicates a shift in attitudes among Georgia’s lawmakers. “ 

Georgia CARE applauds Gov. Deal and the General Assembly’s efforts to study law reform and CARE is seeking legislative support for study committees to look into how Georgia can responsibly reform these laws.

For more information visit www.gacareproject.com

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FlyingTooLow March 02, 2013 at 11:45 PM
@ Amy.. Me, too, Amy...me, too. How can a plant be made illegal? What lunatic came up with that idea? A million thanks for your comment...please, continue spreading 'the word'....
Jillian Galloway March 08, 2013 at 09:33 PM
These days we keep hearing about "legalizing marijuana for recreational use", but what it really appears to be is an attempt to legalize marijuana as a far safer alternative to alcohol. According to the CDC, alcohol kills 80,000 people every year in the U.S. while marijuana kills none, and marijuana's addiction potential is only about that of coffee. Since marijuana is significantly milder, safer and less addictive than alcohol, we could prevent a lot of the harm that alcohol causes by letting people choose marijuana instead of alcohol. We need to put the safety of our children FIRST and legalize marijuana like beer and wine.
George Wilson March 08, 2013 at 10:15 PM
You want get any action on this issue until you replace conservative, reactionary legislatures at the Georgia capital. I'm just looking at Colorado where a state panel agreed a 15% excise tax with the profits going to school construction. In addition to schools, the taxes must fund marijuana safety enforcement and drug education measures. In Georgia, we continue with corporate welfare, not adding 650,000 Georgians to Medicaid (paid for by the Federal government) and locking people up in our over crowded and expensive prisons (run by private enterprise).It's enough to make you want to take a toke on that "Stone Mountain Haze"(trademark).
Garet Hartshorn March 10, 2013 at 09:42 AM
I suffer with Diabetes induced Neuropathy. I have very few choices for relief. Lyrica doesn't work, a leading prescription, so I must take 600mg of Gabapentin. The next day I am left with less than necessary cognitive function. I wouldn't take it as prescribed because of the side effects and I am an electrician forced to work everyday. I've read how cannibus could really help, but my doctor will not prescribe the drug and I won't break the law. I hope to join the fight to pass favorable laws, I need the benefits of marijuana to cope with the nerve burning all through my body. Won't you all help get this law passed? Now's the time, The benefits for Georgians is it will increase the taxes and revenue for our state. People, like me, would be helped so much, in my case pain, my sister with sickness from cancer drugs and others with the medical needs.
FlyingTooLow March 10, 2013 at 01:03 PM
I copied the below comment from another website. I think the American veteran who wrote this sums it up very well: "I am a disabled Army Veteran and smoke marijuana strictly for medical purposes. I never smoked before I broke my back in the military and it hasen't been a gateway to anything. I started smoking because of my cauda equina syndrome. I had a herniated disk in my lower back that compressed the nerves at the lower end of my spine (cauda equina nerves). The doctors couldn't prevent permanent damage, so I am left with permanent pain that is so severe that it leads to vomiting on a consistant basis without my medacine (marijuana). The doctors prescribed me morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, oxycotton, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, etc... All of the above named meda... cines made me useless, I hardly knew what was happening around me. On top of that, they didnt help with the pain or the vomiting from the pain. I felt like bugs were crawling under my skin. After complaining about this for a while, friends and family handed me cannabis. I was reluctant at first, due to the stigma that goes along with it. After I gave it a try, I realized that it was far and away a better solution than any of the above named DRUGS. I had none of the issues with cannabis that I had with all those other PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS. I can function and carry on with my life. Marijuana has made me a better person and a far more functional parent and husband."

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