Georgia House of Rep. Passes Medical Cannabis for Children Bill

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marijuanaLawmakers in Georgia are one step closer to making potentially life-saving medication available to children—medication that many don’t want the children to have. Marijuana.
Of the many benefits of marijuana, the stunning ability to treat an otherwise untreatable seizure disorder in children is perhaps the most remarkable. But in many states, these children can’t get access to the medicine they need. In Georgia, lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a measure that would allow children access to the non-psychoactive liquid cannabis derivative. That bill now goes to the state senate.
Republican lawmaker Rep. Allen Peake sponsored the bill after learning of a 4-year old child in his district who suffers from a seizure disorder. Like the now well-known Charlotte Paige, the child suffers from something known as Dravet Syndrome. For Charlotte, this condition meant hundreds of seizures every single day, and a condition worsened by a pharmaceutical cocktail. For Paige, the only thing that helped was a strain of cannabis—one which doesn’t get her high but does stop the seizures. That strain is now known as Charlotte’s Web.
The Georgia law would make it legal to possess prescribed cannabidiol (CBD), which does not contain THC, or the psychoactive component in marijuana. In other words, CBD won’t result in a “high”.
In Georgia, the hope is that children suffering like Charlotte won’t have to move away or go underground to get the medicine they so badly need. But in addition to allowing cannabis for seizure disorders, the bill now before Georgia Senators would put their medical marijuana system in working condition.
There are already medical marijuana laws in Georgia. According to Reuters, they allow for medical research facilities to dispense cannabis to glaucoma and cancer patients. But, no one is getting the medicine. The laws are incomplete and a state board has never been authorized to regulate the program. In addition to authorizing the use for seizure disorders, the pending legislation would set the program in motion.
Several states are considering similar legislation—focusing on the youngest beneficiaries to push laws that would allow the use of this effective medicine. As law changes considered across the country, from medical pot to all-out legalization, a sick child is certainly a convincing argument to make cannabis more accessible.