Despite being legally permitted to have and use medical marijuana in oil form, patients in Georgia have hit a roadblock when it comes to state law. While enrollees in the state’s growing medical marijuana program can legally possess low THC cannabis oil, they are not permitted to purchase or grow it; they are also not permitted to order it from another state and have it delivered.
An Unlikely Hero Emerges
Faced with the prospect of letting people who were already ill suffer, Republican Representative Allen Peake stepped up to make a difference. This Macon, GA lawmaker is taking advantage of some grey areas in the state’s marijuana laws to help sick constituents who have no other way to access the medical cannabis they need to relieve their symptoms. Hundreds of local residents rely on state representative Allen Peake for medical marijuana products each month. Rep. Peake hopes to be able to continue to provide this much-needed medication for the ill people he serves.
The recipients of the cannabis oil imported from Colorado by this compassionate lawmaker are legally allowed to have the substance under the state law, but simply have no legal way to acquire it. Peake spoke with the Associated Press recently and revealed why he got into to the underground medical marijuana business – and why he continues to act in defiance of the law.
Under Rep. Peake’s stewardship, Georgia’s medical marijuana program has grown; it now provides cannabis oil with a low level of THC to over a thousand ill patients in the region. There is one problem, though – patients enrolled in the program are permitted to have and use medical marijuana, they just can’t grow it, buy it or have it sent in from another state.
Meet Unlikely Cannabis Dealer, Allen Peake
Rep. Allen Peak holds up a bottle of cannabis oil. (The Telegraph photo)
Restaurant CEO and state representative Allen Peake is an unlikely candidate for rule breaking; he runs his business and his life based on Christian and biblical principles. He discovered the plight of the residents he now serves by accident; families were coming to him for help moving all the way to Colorado simply to legally access the medical marijuana they need.
Now, each month, boxes full of cannabis oil arrive at Peake’s office for distribution to the ailing residents he serves. According to Peake, he is not sure where the medication comes from; he is just grateful to be able to distribute it to those in need.
Skirting the Law for the Greater Good
While marijuana is legal for medical use in Georgia, transporting this Schedule 1 narcotic across state lines remains a felony.
While Peake doesn’t know where those boxes come from, he makes a big donation to a Colorado based medical cannabis research foundation every time they arrive. By making a donation, he is able to ensure the oil continues to flow – without making official payments (which would be illegal in Georgia).
By donating money for the oil and then giving it away for free, Peake avoids being charged with selling marijuana. Under current laws, the gifting of cannabis oil for free is allowed. Peake continues to be at the forefront of the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia and is working hard to expand the qualifying conditions a patient can have to legally enroll in a program.
Over 1200 patients are currently enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program and many of them turn to Peake to access the products they need. As the precious oil is delivered, Peake is vigilant about checking to make sure the recipients are properly registered and enrolled in Georgia’s medical marijuana program and that
they can legally possess and use the product.
This Republican lawmaker continues to be an unlikely champion for the cause of medical marijuana. He has no plans on ending his crusade to help patients in Georgia – or on stopping the mystery deliveries that provide patients with the cannabis oil they need to function each day.
This post was originally published on May 1, 2017, it was updated on October 5, 2017.