The Georgia state House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalize the use of certain kinds of marijuana for medical treatments.
HB 885, or "Haleigh’s Hope Act," would provide for continuing research into medical marijuana, select academic medical centers to conduct research and regulate the activities of relevant programs and boards.
More specifically, HB 885 would allow for medical cannabis to be administered only for patients suffering from seizure disorders and it would be available only in oral and pill form, not smoked. The marijuana allowed by the bill is low in the THC chemical that produces the “high” feeling, but high in CBD, which has medical value.
CBD (Cannabidoils) are not known to have any psychological effects and there’s evidence they are effective at curbing conditions like Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis. Georgia lawmakers were compelled by CBD’s effectiveness in treating conditions that cause life-threatening and debilitating seizures like Dravet syndrome, in which a sufferer can have 100 seizures a day.
One child who benefits from CBD treatment is Charlotte Figi. She suffered from Dravet syndrome and at one point was having up to 300 seizures a week. CBD treatment brought that down to three per month.
Representative Allen Peake, a Republican, sponsored the bill. It is named after Haleigh Cox, a Georgian child who suffers from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, another rare epileptic condition. Her mother, Janea Cox, is moving with Haleigh to Colorado, where the drug is legalized, but proponents of the bill are hoping it will allow them both to move back to Georgia and continue her treatment there.
The bill passed the House with a 171-4 vote. The bill will now go to the Georgia Senate. More information can be found at Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2, which has set up a section of its website for coverage of the medical marijuana developments in Georgia.