ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Coined "Haleigh's Hope Act", House Bill 885 is aimed at legalizing an oil form of medical marijuana for people suffering from seizure disorders. It was presented Tuesday morning in the Georgia House of Representatives.
It's author, State Representative Allen Peake, District 141, was inspired by a little girl in Forsyth, Haleigh Cox, who suffers from severe seizure disorders.
"This is one of those instances where as a legislator, you know, politics is put aside and it's a matter of okay can we really do something and do it quickly even, in this particular case, that makes a real difference in the lives of these families," Peake told 41NBC over the phone Tuesday afternoon.
The bill adds on to Georgia's existing law, which hasn't been active for years, but allows glaucoma and cancer patients to use medical marijuana for treatment.
Peake's bill restricts treatment to the oil-form, and does not allow those under going treatment to smoke the drug. He said, so far, nearly 90 lawmakers have signed on to co-sponsor the bill.
"There have been studies that show that 85% respond with significant reduction in the seizures when this oral based formula, this cannabidiol is given to these patients with seizure disorders. So there's real hope here that this can make a difference in the lives of these children and their families," said Peake.
Peake says the bill has garnered support from the Georgia Medical Association, as well as Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Now it will head to the Health and Human Services Commitee, where Peake anticipates, it will be the subject through several hearings. Then, if it moves on to the Rules Committee, and passes through it, it heads to the house.
The bill needs 91 votes to pass in the house, 29 in the senate, and a signature from Governor Nathan Deal for it to become law.