Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Why a medical marijuana expansion in Georgia may be in trouble


A year after Georgia lawmakers legalized medical marijuana for some illnesses, advocates want to allow growers to harvest and distribute their product in-state. But they'll have to overcome a formidable obstacle.

Gov. Nathan Deal said he's not convinced of the need to expand the program, which he said boasts about 300 families. And he said that the results of a recent fact-finding tour to Colorado - his aides joined lawmakers and law enforcement officials on the trip - solidified his skepticism.

"Commercially, I am told, that's not a big enough demand base to be able to sustain a growing operation," he said, adding: "And the information I've received from the law enforcement component causes me to have more concerns than I did before."

That's a blow to state Rep. Allen Peake's efforts to allow the drug to be grown in the state for medical purposes so some families can get easier access to the medicine. That includes a family caring for their son's seizure disorders known as the last of Georgia’s medical marijuana refugees in Colorado.

***

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina will make a campaign stop in Georgia next week. 

The former Hewlett Packard executive has a 3:30 p.m. town hall meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 8. 

***

Ousted Georgia football coach Mark Richt definitely won't be running for governor now that he's taking the big job at the University of Miami.

But that didn't step Jim Beck of the Georgia Christian Coalition from starting a campaign to draft him to enter the race. "We need a new playbook," he wrote.

By the way, Gov. Nathan Deal offered his own warning to the coach when a TV reporter asked him whether Richt could be his successor.

"I wish him well and I feel sure he’s been used to rough-and-tumble," said Deal. "But I’m sure he knows from the outside that politics is a different level of rough-and-tumble."

***

Political consultant Eric Gray did everyone a favor when he compiled a list of which Georgia politicians have endorsed presidential candidates. He found that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio lead the pack.

From Gray:

In total, 46 lawmakers have made a pledge of support to a presidential candidate. On the Republican side, Marco Rubio leads all with 12 endorsements, followed by Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads with 15 endorsements, with no public endorsements of any competing Democratic candidate.

Find the whole list here.


Reader Comments ...


About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.