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On this edition of Political Rewind, we’re discussing a bill set to be debated in the state legislature that would establish a hate crimes law in Georgia.  We’re one of just a handful of states without one.  Then, Attorney General Jeff Sessions opens the door for a federal crackdown on legal marijuana.  What impact could it have on our medical pot statute?  The White House is now in full battle mode against a sensational new book that alleges Trump’s closest allies think he’s not fit to be president.

Panelists:

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A new Atlanta ordinance eliminating jail time and reducing penalties for having small amounts of marijuana will allow officers to focus on eliminating violent crimes instead of petty ones, the city's police chief said.

Marijuana remains illegal in Georgia, and the ordinance addresses only the penalties associated with marijuana offenses, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told WSB-TV.

The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved the ordinance that reduces the fine for possession of an ounce or less of pot from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75.

As advocates for medical marijuana gather in Washington, D.C., on Friday for an annual conference, supporters of marijuana legalization are worried.

That's because new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been making tough comments about the drug, and there's a lot of uncertainty about how the Trump administration will enforce federal law.

Over his 20 years in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions made no secret of his disdain for marijuana. In his new job as the nation's top federal law enforcement officer, his position on marijuana has not moderated.

Georgia Lawmakers Ready To Expand Access To Medical Cannabis

Mar 28, 2017
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The Georgia General Assembly is on the cusp of expanding access to medical cannabis.

The House voted 167-4 Tuesday to pass a bill that would add six new diagnoses to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis oil, including autism, AIDS, Tourette's syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease. However, many of the diagnoses will be restricted to when the condition is severe or in the end-stage.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jean

In a few states, it's legal to make and sell edibles laced with marijuana, but not in Georgia. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Georgia. but that's not stopping some culinary artists working with it in the kitchen.

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Georgia may not be following in the footsteps of Colorado or Washington when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana, but local politicians in the city of Clarkston are hoping to change the way that law enforcement deals with minor possession of the drug. Mayor Ted Terry is supporting legislation that would levy fines instead of arrests when less than an ounce of the drug is involved. 

Hear Mayor Terry's thinking behind the change in Clarkston's policy and how he feels about the "War on Drugs."

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A bill allowing more patients to use Medical Marijuana easily passed the Georgia House today. The legislation was stripped of major provisions last week after intense debate.

The bill originally sought to allow in-state cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Georgia, but it was gutted by legislators who said it wasn’t practical. Representative Allen Peake, the bill’s sponsor, says he’s disappointed the bill didn’t do more.