It appears the state Senate and House have reached a compromise on medical marijuana legislation that will likely ensure its passage this session.
Late Thursday afternoon the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved HB 1 that is very similar to the version passed by the House and sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon).
It would provide immunity to those who bring cannabis oil into Georgia to treat a total of nine medical conditions from cancer to ALS to Sickle Cell Disease. It takes out fibromyalgia, as in the House version, but adds trauma-related head injuries that cause seizures.
“On behalf of a lot of families and citizens, thank you for what you’ve put (together); I think we’re going to get a deal done here which is good news,” Peake told the committee and its chairman Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford).
A bill passed the full Senate last week that would have only provided immunity until age of 21 for those with seizure disorders. It included clinical trials of cannabis oil on children as well.
Parents like Corey Lowe, whose daughter Victoria suffers from Mitochondrial Disease, were pleased the Senate appears to have come around to the House version.
“Hope seems to be the theme of the day; I mean it is the Haleigh Hope Act and we have hope now that they’ve included adults (and) they’ve included other conditions,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
The committee heard from parents like Mike Hopkins who moved his family to Colorado so his daughter could receive treatment for her seizure disorder. He along with 16 other Georgia families would be able to return if the legislation passes.
“We love Georgia, Colorado’s nice, but we would like to come home,” he says.
The committee also heard from Lindsey Crosby, whose daughter suffers chronic pain from fibromyalgia which was left out of the Senate version. She did well after briefly receiving treatment in Colorado but the family couldn’t afford to move there.
“If we want to let her use that and she is an adult, why not let her use it with a physician monitoring it,” he asked the members.
An amendment to add the illness back into the bill failed in the committee but Peake is still hopeful it can be added before the legislative session ends.