According to AZFamily, Georgia Republican, Rep. Allen Peake is running an underground medical marijuana network in order to get the drug to families who need it.
Peake, a vehemently pro-life, devout Christian is providing the service free of charge to those who can legally use the drug for their ailment, but have no legal way of obtaining it. Peake is hoping that doing this without any payment will keep him from landing the felony charge of drug trafficking.
Current federal law prohibits the use of marijuana, and the transportation of it across state lines. In 2016, then President Barack Obama sent out a directive that stopped the Department of Justice from enforcing what he called a patchwork of laws "where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another.”
Peake is doing what he can to skirt the illegality of the federal laws still on the books.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to be able to help get product to these families, these citizens who have debilitating illnesses," says Peake.
Current Georgia marijuana laws allow one to possess medical marijuana, but gives those who need it no way of cultivating, purchasing, or importing the drug. Peake successfully championed the creation of the medical marijuana program in 2015, as well as its expansion.
"Yes, while we have a law that allows you to legally possess it, we don't have a law that gives you the ability to be able to access it," says Peake.
According to AZFamily, a cardboard box from Colorado filled with marijuana derivatives appears on Peake's office once a month. Peake doesn't know who brings the box into the state, and he doesn't ask. He then distributes this to the over 1,000 patients who are enrolled in the medical marijuana program.
Peake cannot pay for this medical marijuana, as this would be illegal, but he does make a significant contribution to a foundation in Colorado that supports research of medical cannabis, totaling up to around $100,000 a year. The lawmaker does not charge the families he delivers to for the marijuana either, as this too would be illegal. The act of gifting cannibus oil without directly paying for it allows Peake to narrowly skirt the law.
Peake knows he will not regain his losses, but says that he is satisfied helping his constituents. Fortunately he can afford to give this hefty of an amount of charity as he is the CEO of C&P Restaurant Co.
While Peake's actions flirt with illegality, the lawmaker is very careful about how the medical marijuana is handled. Everyone who delivers the oil on his behalf is registered with the state and enrolled in the medical cannabis program themselves.
A recent CBS poll shows that a striking majority of Americans approve of marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes. Additionally, the poll showed that Americans believe that the legality of marijuana use should be left up to the states, and taken out of the hands of the federal government.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it adamantly clear that he is against the use of marijuana in any capacity, and said that he was going to pursue marijuana crimes more vigorously, a la the war on drugs seen back in the 1980's and 1990's. However, congress recently gave Sessions zero funding for the cause of enforcing marijuana laws in states that have already legalized the drug.