… Including places where you normally find only criminals.
Once a month, a cardboard box from Colorado appears at the office of a conservative Christian lawmaker in central Georgia, filled with derivatives of marijuana, to be distributed around the state in the shadows of the law.
Operating in ways he hopes will avoid felony charges of drug trafficking, state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is taking matters into his own hands. He’s shepherding cannabis oil to hundreds of sick people who are now allowed by the state to possess marijuana, but have no legal way of obtaining it.
Nearly all the new state-level cannabis laws, both medical and recreational, contain odd quirks: strange compromises between legalizers and prohibitionists; bizarre signs that lawmakers simply don’t know what they’re doing; provisions to keep pot a boutique business; or contrary provisions (especially as big crony biz realize that legalization is a real thing with real profits to be made from it) to ensure than only the wealthy and connected can enter the trade.
Georgia’s laws are particularly weird. Amid its mostly brutal Reefer Madness-era laws, NORML says Georgia grants one exception: a fairly generous allotment allowing CBD-heavy cannabis extracts for people with certain specified conditions.
Georgia just doesn’t allow its residents to, you know, actually obtain the stuff. Or grow the stuff for themselves.
That’s some quirk.
And it doesn’t look close to changing, even though Rep. Peake, the Freedom Outlaw noted above, is working to liberalize the illiberal law. But until he and his allies can improve matters, he’s personally doing whatever it takes to alleviate suffering. Putting himself on the line in a very serious way in a state whose pot laws are positively medieval … just to do the right thing.
CBD (cannabidiol), as opposed to the more famous THC (tetrahydrocannibinol), offers no high, and in fact suppresses the THC high. Both cannabinoids have medical benefits, but it’s CBD that’s becoming more prized by many medical patients.
Real, quantifiable data on the effects of cannabinoids against various diseases is hard to come by — thanks to generations of drug warriors preventing medical marijuana from being studied. Such monomaniacal control freaks can still be heard across the land crying, “Marijuana has NO medical benefits!” And they can claim this in part because they’ve personally seen to it that it’s hard for anybody to actually check. (On a side note, these crazed drug warriors have also prevented studies on the evidently very, very beneficial effects of psychoactive drugs like LSD, psylocibin, and mescaline (in clinical or ritualized settings), for easing the agonies of both cancer and some forms mental illness.)
While neither Peake nor anybody else is saying how the cannibis oil he distributes gets to Georgia or who pays for it, Peake’s a wealthy man who’s already put a lot of his money into helping medical marijuana patients:
He’s the CEO of one of the nation’s largest franchise restaurant businesses, with more than 100 locations including Cheddar’s and Fazoli’s. He says he runs this business on biblical principles and donates to Christian charities, a practice that led him into the world of cannabis when he began helping families with the costs of moving to Colorado for the legal access to treatments they couldn’t get in Georgia.
Those connections led to the arrival each month of boxes on his office doorstep, filled with bottles of cannabis oil of varying concentrations within Georgia’s now-legal THC limit.
Peake says he doesn’t know who brings it into the state, and doesn’t ask.
Because … yeah, his pain-allieviating, potentially lifesaving kindness is a felony.
Long live a Great American Outlaw!