With the recent passage of Georgia's low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) oil laws, I've of late had occasion to help clients accused of wrongfully possessing low THC oil in the state. These clients were already self-medicating with the oil when they were found in illegal possession. This usually results from a traffic stop where the THC containing oil is found either on the client's person or somewhere in their car. Legal defenses of reasonable articulable suspicion, unlawful search and seizure, and probable cause to arrest aside, after the fact of their arrest, the client in need of low THC oil then seeks to get a card permitting them to have and use it. Not sure what to do to get it, the client's doctor also sometimes is unsure about how the process works. Can they just write a prescription for their patient? This being Georgia, the process isn't that easy. But it's doable.
There now exists a Low THC Oil Registry in Georgia which oversees who may obtain a card permitting them to possess 20-ounces of low-THC oil at any one time. The medical and psychological conditions which permit a person to possibly be approved for a card are as follows:
- Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness or recalcitrant nausea and vomiting
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
- Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries
- Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
- Crohn's disease
- Mitochondrial disease
- Parkinson's disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
- Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
- Tourette's syndrome, when such syndrome is diagnosed as severe
- Autism spectrum disorder, when (a) patient is 18 years of age or more, or (b) patient is less than 18 years of age and diagnosed with severe autism
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Alzheimer's disease, when such disease is severe or end stage
- AIDS when such syndrome is severe or end stage
- Peripheral neuropathy, when symptoms are severe or end stage
- Patient is in hospice program, either as inpatient or outpatient
- Intractable pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from direct exposure to or witnessing of a trauma for a patient who is at least 18 years of age
Assuming one of the conditions above holds, then if a properly certified physician determines their patient is an appropriate candidate for a Low THC Oil Registry card, the diagnosing physician (not the patient) makes an application to the Georgia Department of Public Health. If approved, the patient will be issued a card for $25. That card is valid for two years. After two years, the patient will need to obtain a reassessment of their need for continued use of low THC oil.
To learn more about how patients and physicians may obtain a Low THC Oil Registry Card in Georgia, go to the Georgia Department of Public Health link here.
While things are changing across the country, and while public opinion increasingly favors legalization of marijuana use by adults, in Georgia it's still very much illegal. If you, or someone you know, has run afoul of Georgia's marijuana laws, or is having other related legal difficulties, contact us by calling 678-DUI-HELP. Or email attorney Alan J. Levine at [email protected]. We would be honored to sit down and discuss how we may be of assistance.