The tide appears to be turning in Georgia with regard to the issue of medical cannabis, or marijuana, after two leading Republican lawmakers in the State Legislature expressed their openness to the idea of legalizing cannabis for medical purposes in Georgia.
As first reported by WSB-TV Channel 2, on January 07, 2014, Republican State Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) called for hearings on medical marijuana; then, on January 09, House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) told Channel 2 he would be open to the idea.
"I have some concerns about it quite frankly but I think, let's take the politics out of it, and look at the science and hear the medical professionals,” Ralston said.
A new study looking at marijuana arrests across the country shows that African-Americans are arrested significantly more often than white people throughout the United States. And few areas display that trend more than Fulton and DeKalb counties.
The American Civil Liberties Union, looking at pot possession arrests between 2001 and 2010, found that black people who are found with weed are almost 4 times more likely to be sent to jail than white people who get caught with pot. The nonprofit, which compiled the study using the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program and U.S. Census data, says the analysis is the first of its kind to look at the specific issue on a county-by-county level in all 50 states:
"[Marijuana arrests have] needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, had a staggeringly disproportionate impact on African-Americans, and comes at a tremendous human and financial cost," the ACLU's report says. "The price paid by those arrested and convicted of marijuana possession can be significant and linger for years, if not a lifetime."