By Lori Geary
A House committee debating a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia and actually allow cannabis to be grown here under tight restrictions, gave the bill unanimous approval to the bill Wednesday. Channel 2’s Lori Geary was at the state Capitol as some very nervous parents were waiting to see if this bill will clear a major hurdle by getting out of committee. Most of the parents have children who suffer from severe seizure disorders and say medical marijuana may be their only hope but the bill just underwent a major change.
“We’ve been in the hospital 6 1/2 weeks now,” mother Janea Cox told Geary, who says she has been at her daughter’s side in the ICU, except when she must be at the Georgia Capitol lobbying to get medical marijuana legal. It may be the only medicine that could save 4-year-old Haleigh’s life. Haleigh suffers more than a hundred seizures a day. “She was sleeping comfortably today and then all of a sudden she just quit breathing and we had a hard time getting her back. It’s getting harder and harder,” Cox said.
Geary traveled to Colorado where she met up with metro Atlanta families who moved there where the cannabis oil is already legal and they’re seeing amazing results. Cox is hoping Haleigh is stable enough soon to make the move.
“Why are those children able to be saved and the kids in Georgia are just left to die? I can’t understand it. We’re in America,” Cox said.
“While we’re moving fast, going to make sure we do it right as well,” said Rep. Allen Peake who is sponsoring the bill. Peake just made a huge change to the bill because the federal government won’t allow medical marijuana to be transported across state lines. Peake said his bill would allow academic research institutions to grow the plant, not businesses or individuals. “That’s the last thing we want is to allow folks to start growing cannabis in their backyard or anyone, even a business, to do it at this point. We’re just doing it for academic research centers,” Peake said. “I think it’s a good idea to grow it here, that way they can keep tight regulations on it. And they know exactly when it’s being grown, how it’s tested,” Cox said. “This could be their last possible hope of living a good life.”
The committee debating the bill gave unanimous approval late Wednesday night. The bill is expected to be on the House floor Monday.