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Posted: March 4, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Medical? Sure, but not recreational

Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is a hot topic in the state right now, as the Georgia General Assembly is on the path to green lighting limited medical testing.

We had an in-depth piece on the bill and a prominent local family ardently supporting it because of the hope it could hold for their three special-needs children who are severely affected by numerous daily seizures. If you missed it, go to and search for "Into the Weeds."

We don’t have any problem with testing that will help determine if marijuana-derived products are effective in the treatment of severe seizures and glaucoma and recovery from cancer chemotherapy and radiation.

And we applaud the parents fighting for this option for their children.

However, we do share the concerns expressed by others that the machinations behind the scenes in many of these movements, not just in Georgia, are at least partially influenced by groups that want to see the eventual legalization of recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana isn’t smoked – it’s taken in an oil form – and the options we’ve heard about are bred specifically to be very low in THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.

However, recreational marijuana is consumed in whatever form a person chooses, and we need to oppose the introduction of a product that can have truly negative consequences.

While marijuana may not technically be physically addictive, it can be psychologically addictive, and we’ve seen enough lives delayed, derailed and damaged by its use to oppose making it any more appealing and easier to obtain than it already is. Just because something feels good doesn’t make it good for you and society.

We hope the state’s desire for a potentially rich tax source won’t overcome its desire for the safest, healthiest population possible. Sadly, experiences in other states make it seem like an inevitable conclusion that pot will become legal in Georgia in the near future.

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