Congressman Paul Broun, R-Ga., who represents east central Georgia, is cosponsoring a bill that would legalize on a national basis the use of a marijuana-derived oil and other therapeutic hemp products for medical treatments.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and cosponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., in addition to Broun, would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act “to exclude therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana.” The proposal has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary committees.
Broun, a physician, has been a consistent supporter of medical marijuana, in large part on the basis of states’ rights arguments. Earlier this spring, Broun cosponsored a federal appropriations amendment blocking the federal government from interfering with states that permit the use of medical marijuana.
The amendment passed the House in a 219-189 vote.
According to a Slate.com report on that amendment, “Broun said there were ‘very valid medical reasons’ to use marijuana extracts or products. ‘It’s less dangerous than some narcotics that doctors prescribe all over this country,’ Broun said. He said medical marijuana was a states’ rights issue and Congress needed to ‘reserve the states’ powers under the Constitution.’”
In recent months, the state of Georgia has struggled with the issue of medical marijuana.
In this year’s legislative session, a bill sponsored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, that would have allowed the use of cannabis oil to treat certain seizure disorders, failed to pass in the wake of some last-minute legislative maneuvering. The state Senate did, though, create a committee to study legalizing medical marijuana in Georgia.
On Tuesday, Peake took to social media to urge people to contact their congressional representatives regarding Perry’s bill.