ATLANTA, Ga (WSAV) – This was the second to last day of the Georgia legislative session and back in the headlines for the assembly are medical marijuana and concealed carry on college campuses.
The State Senate passed HB 280 allowing concealed weapons on college campuses with a 32-22 vote. Hours earlier the House sent through the heavily altered SB 16 medical cannabis oil bill.
The campus carry bill for a second year garnered debate. This year it has seen the same support as well as opposition.
“This bill would really allow me to feel more comfortable going to a graduate school in the state of Georgia,” said student Cole Daniels in a February 20th House committee hearing. His support came after several staged their cases for opposing the bill.
“HB 280 will needlessly endanger students, faculty and staff on the campuses of Georgia’s universities and colleges,” said Emory professor Carlos Moreno PH.D in the same hearing.
“The fear of guns on campus would impede the educational process,” added former college professor Martha Miller.
The campus carry was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Bill Heath who took the brunt of questions for the bill.
“I’ll boil this down to a very simple question ‘Do you believe that law-abiding background checked citizens should be prohibited from providing for their own protection just because they choose to go to a college,” asked the senator on the floor.
The bill has changed. It made it to the Governor’s desk last year but was vetoed.The Governor was not in favor of concealed weapons at on campus day cares, which the bill at the time allowed. This bill would not allow that nor allow weapons in on campus athletic facilities. It will need to go to the House for one final vote before heading to Governor Deal’s desk.
In the House chamber today, the morning session was highlighted with representatives passing expansion for medical marijuana. The House passed a version of the Senate bill expanding medical cannabis oil. Our local senator doctor Ben Watson’s bill includes use for those with autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s and Tourettes patients.
The House, with the help of the senator, greatly changed this bill to add those expansions and to take out lowering of potency for the oil. It will now need one last vote in the senate before the governor has a chance to make it law.