Republican Clay Tippins sat at the end of a semi-circle, surrounded by about a half-dozen parents of children who rely on cannabis oil to treat debilitating illnesses.
The first-time candidate differs with his rivals in the governor’s race on contentious issues like “religious liberty” legislation and the escalating costs at Plant Vogtle’s nuclear reactors. But his campaign is highlighting his stance on cannabis oil as one of the sharpest dividing lines in the GOP race.
Of the five leading Republican candidates, he’s one of two who support significantly expanding the medical marijuana program. State Rep. Allen Peake, who authored the law that launched the program, calls Tippins the only “viable” contender to back it – a knock at state Sen. Michael Williams.
Both Democratic candidates, former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans, also support expanding the program.
Tippins met with the families in a quiet room Tuesday on the second floor of the state Capitol, peppering them with questions about how they access the drug.
It’s illegal to cultivate marijuana in Georgia, which means families must rely