The Latest: Lawmakers back medical marijuana expansion - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

The Latest: Lawmakers back medical marijuana expansion

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Latest on "crossover day" at the Georgia Capitol, a key deadline for bills to stay alive for the year (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

The Georgia House has approved a bill expanding the list of conditions allowing people to possess medical marijuana in Georgia.

House members voted 152 to 8 Monday on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon. If signed into law, the bill would extend eligibility to patients with autism, HIV or AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder and several other conditions.

Peake originally proposed allowing a small number of state-licensed manufacturers of medical marijuana products to operate in Georgia. A House committee last week stripped that language from the bill; Peake has said he's committed to trying again in future years.

"This isn't an issue that is going away," Peake said. "Even if it is not me, someone else is going to be leading the charge on this."

4 a.m.

Monday brings a key deadline for Georgia lawmakers at the Capitol.

Bills must pass at least one chamber by the 30th day of the legislative session to remain alive for the year. There are some ways around that deadline, but the House and Senate generally work late into the night to pass members' bills.

The session lasts for 40 working days. Leaders plan to end the session on March 24.

Top issues still waiting for action in either the House or Senate include bills allowing casino gambling and betting on horse-racing, civil rights protection at businesses. Other proposals would require special drivers' licenses for some people who came to the U.S. illegally and expand diseases eligible for medical marijuana.

The House and Senate begin work at 10 a.m.

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