HB 1 Supporters want senators to keep the bill as written

ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Medical marijuana supporters flooded the halls of the Capitol on Thursday to tell lawmakers House Bill 1 is the legislation that will help the most people.

There are two different bills involving the controversial topic. The Senate’s proposal, SB 185, creates clinical trials for people under the age of 18 who suffer from seizures. The House’s bill, HB 1, offers a low dose cannibidiol oil to treat nine different medical conditions.

“She has cerebral palsy as her primary diagnosis and tractable seizures as a secondary. With that diagnosis, we’re kind of kicked out of every trial,” explains Sarah Caruso, an HB 1 supporter.

They’re not sure why Senators would propose clinical trials, when studies are already on going at Georgia Regents University in Augusta. 

Most of the speakers at Thursday’s rally explained their children wouldn’t qualify for the trials because they’re only for people suffering from seizures. 

“My son has mitochondrial disease and he has a brain and a spine tumor and sub-clinical seizure activity. He does not qualify under their strict guidelines,” adds Katie McKoy.

Now that Senate Bill 185 has been introduced, HB 1 supporters are worried some of the key parts of their bill might be taken away. 

“I’m getting indications they’re going to strip it down to remove all of the conditions except for kids with seizures. I think that would be a real disservice to a lot of the citizens in our state that could benefit from cannibis oil,” says State Representative Allen Peake. 

“I think what we’re asking for isn’t the moon in the stars. Just get our families home from Colorado and other states and get our kids this medicine that we need,” explained Anthony Caruso, another HB 1 supporter. 

The author of SB 185, Senator Lindsey Tippins, tells 41NBC the purpose of his bill is to address the issue that first presented itself at the General Assembly last year: pediatric seizures. 

“I think the only way you’re ever going to get it approved by FDA for dispensing through approved medical protocol is through clinical testing,” argues Senator Tippins.

But some concerned parents want relief now. 

“Since we don’t qualify for clinical trials, we would have to wait the three to five years til it is approved by the FDA. We don’t have that time. Her next seizure could be the one that takes her,” adds Sarah, referring to her daughter, Britlyn. 

Representative Peake doesn’t expect a senate committee to review HB 1 for the next two weeks, but he thinks that’s a great opportunity to keep educating Senators about his proposal. 

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