Gov. Nathan Deal signs med­i­cal cannabis leg­is­la­tion

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

Rep. Allen Peake (R-Ma­con) an­nounced May 9 that Gov. Nathan Deal signed his Sen­ate Bill 16. SB 16 ex­pands Ge­or­gia’s med­i­cal cannabis oil pro­gram by adding six ill­nesses to the list of qual­i­fy­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions to al­low pa­tients to le­gally pos­sess up to 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil with a max­i­mum of 5 per­cent THC in the state.

“With Gov. Deal’s sig­na­ture to­day, Ge­or­gia’s med­i­cal cannabis pro­gram takes another pos­i­tive step for­ward,” Peake said in a news re­lease. “As of to­day, 1,738 cit­i­zens and 354 doc­tors are regis­tered with Ge­or­gia’s Low THC Oil Registry pro­gram, and I’m con­fi­dent that the ad­di­tion of six con­di­tions to this very suc­cess­ful pro­gram will al­low even more hurt­ing Ge­or­gians with de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­nesses to have a ray of hope for a bet­ter qual­ity of life.”

He said he hopes more gaps will be filled dur­ing the 2018 leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

AIDS was one of the six ill­nesses and con­di­tions added onto the registry, along with Tourette’s syn­drome, autism spec­trum dis­or­der, Epi­der­mol­y­sis Bul­losa, Alzheimer’s dis­ease, pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy and hospice pa­tients.

SB 16 also al­lows rec­i­proc­ity of med­i­cal cannabis reg­is­tra­tion cards is­sued by other states, so long as their oil meets Ge­or­gia’s le­gal stan­dards and the in­di­vid­ual hasn’t been in the state longer than 45 days. In ad­di­tion, the new law re­moves the res­i­dency re­quire­ment for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Low THC Oil Registry, and changes re­port­ing re­quire­ments for physi­cians.

City honors life of late Ful­ton County Com­mis­sioner Joan Gar­ner

Sev­eral hun­dred mourn­ers gath­ered at Ebenezer Bap­tist Church on May 7 to honor the life of the late Ful­ton County Com­mis­sioner Joan Gar­ner, who died of breast can­cer on April 18. Gar­ner was a beloved com­mu­nity fig­ure and the first openly LGBT mem­ber of the com­mis­sion.

Speak­ers at the ser­vice re­flected on the le­gacy she left through her work in the city and as a cham­pion for so­cial jus­tice and LGBT rights.

Gar­ner was the co-founder of South­ern­ers On New Ground, served on the boards of Lambda Le­gal and the Gay and Les­bian Task Force, co-con­vened the At­lanta African-Amer­i­can Les­bian Gay Al­liance, helped or­ga­nize the first Hu­man Rights Cam­paign din­ner in At­lanta and co-founded the Ful­ton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

“In the seven years that I worked by her side, Joan in so many dif­fer­ent forms held a pres­ence. Whether she was nav­i­gat­ing pub­lic pol­icy mat­ters or more re­cently as she stood up to can­cer, I can’t re­call a mo­ment where she drifted from her calm­ing man­ner, beau­ti­ful smile and ded­i­ca­tion to the task at hand. She drew upon her seem­ingly end­less force of en­ergy and ra­di­ated the aura of her pres­ence,” said Ross King, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the As­so­ci­a­tion of County Com­mis­sion­ers of Ge­or­gia.

Other speak­ers called Gar­ner a “light­house … who could gen­tly show the way” and praised her com­pas­sion, val­ues and prin­ci­ples.

LGBT groups re­act to Trump’s ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ EO

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump com­mem­o­rated the 2017 Na­tional Day of Prayer in the White House Rose Gar­den on May 4 by sign­ing a “re­li­gious free­dom” ex­ec­u­tive or­der that, to the re­lief of LGBT and equal­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions, was not on its face anti-LGBT.

The pri­mary fo­cus of the ex­ec­u­tive or­der ad­dresses the John­son Amend­ment, a 1954 rule that threat­ens re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tions with a loss of their tax-ex­empt sta­tus should their lead­ers take to the pul­pit with po­lit­i­cal is­sues. By sign­ing the ex­ec­u­tive or­der, Trump said he would pre­vent the John­son Amend­ment from in­ter­fer­ing with faith lead­ers’ First Amend­ment rights.

Ac­cord­ing to the At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion, there is no re­ported sit­u­a­tion where a church lost its tax-ex­empt sta­tus or was pun­ished for ser­mons de­liv­ered from the pul­pit.

A num­ber of na­tional LGBT rights or­ga­ni­za­tions spoke out against the ex­ec­u­tive or­der that af­ter­noon, and the Twit­ter­verse was rife with feed­back about the or­der, as well as a more anti-LGBT draft pre­de­ces­sor that leaked in Fe­bru­ary. Ed­u­ca­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion GLSEN is­sued a state­ment say­ing its lead­er­ship was re­lieved the more anti-LGBT lan­guage didn’t make it into the fi­nal ver­sion. How­ever, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor El­iza Byard cau­tioned it was still the start of a slip­pery slope.

LGBT non­profit Lost-n-Found Youth opens sec­ond At­lanta-area store

LGBT youth home­less­ness or­ga­ni­za­tion Lost-n-Found Youth opened its sec­ond metro At­lanta area thrift shop ear­lier this month.

The new store is lo­cated off Jimmy Carter Boule­vard in Nor­cross. Like its par­ent store, the Nor­cross shop will ac­cept and sell do­na­tions of fur­ni­ture, house­wares, dishes, pots, pans and pretty much any­thing else. The non­profit ob­tained the store af­ter its pre­vi­ous owner needed to find some­one to take it over.

The deal was sealed once Lost-n-Found board mem­bers re­viewed do­na­tion re­ceipts and re­al­ized they al­ready had a large num­ber of peo­ple in the Nor­cross area who do­nated to the At­lanta thrift shop.

“The Gwin­nett store will pro­vide us with the op­por­tu­nity to reach out into a new mar­ket and of­fer in­creased con­ve­nience as a North Metro area do­na­tion cen­ter,” said Lost-n-Found Youth Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Rick West­brook in a news re­lease.

Ful­ton County Com­mis­sioner Joan Gar­ner’s me­mo­rial ser­vice took place at Ebenezer Bap­tist Church on May 7. (Photo by Pa­trick Saun­ders)

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