Miami (AFP) - Georgia looks set to become the 24th US state to legalize marijuana for certain medical uses, part of a growing movement in the country.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal -- who has said he is in favor -- now needs to sign off on the bill after it was approved Wednesday by legislators in the southern state.
The law allows for possession of marijuana oil that has a low content of THC, a substance that affects the central nervous system, when it is used for the treatment of eight specific diseases including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and epilepsy.
It "provides relief from pain and hope for a lot of citizens in our state," said Republican legislator Allen Peake, cited by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Peake said he hopes 17 families who moved to Colorado, which has legalized marijuana, will return to Georgia after they left the state to have access to drugs they say help seizure disorders.
US senators earlier this month introduced the most comprehensive legislation on medical marijuana ever brought before Congress, a bipartisan effort aimed at ending federal restrictions on the increasingly accepted treatment.
A total of 23 states have already legalized marijuana for medical use.
Colorado, Washington state, Alaska, Oregon and the US capital have recently passed laws legalizing it for recreational use.
Nonetheless, marijuana remains strictly illegal under federal law.