Medical marijuana fight to continue in Georgia
FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia’s medical marijuana supporters aren’t giving up their fight, and one family is continuing treatment, even though they can’t get the drug in Georgia.
“It’s heartbreaking, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to come back and fight again. We’re special needs parents and we get knocked down all the time and we come back a lot stronger,” said Janea Cox.
Janea had two bottles of cannabidiol oil on the small table next to the couch in her living room. She said it’s because of that medicine that her daughter, Haleigh, is still with her.
“She’s trying to sit on her own. She gives hugs now. She tried to give you kisses back. It’s the things I’ve waited so long for,”explained Janea.
The Forsyth family moved back to Georgia after the 2015 General Assembly passed Haleigh’s Hope Act. Now they can use medical cannabis at home, but they don’t have a way to legally get it in the state.
“We have two different houses in two different states. It’s put a financial strain on us,” said Janea.
State Representative Allen Peake introduced House Bill 757 this session. It included a model for growing the drug in Georgia. A House committee removed the option to grow it in-state, but added to the list of conditions that can use medical cannabis. The Georgia Senate didn’t take a vote on the bill.
“It was pretty disappointing and disheartening particularly because of the fact that there were a lot of families there that had been fighting for this issue,” recalled Peake.
Peake plans to introduce similar legislation next year. He hopes to have every key player on board by that time.
“If anything that I can be criticized for, it’s that maybe we didn’t get that before we introduced the legislation last year,” said Peake.
Patients who are allowed to use medical marijuana have to find ways to get the drug since the in-state cultivation model didn’t pass.
“They’re going to take matters into their own hands. I fully expect that you’re going to see a lot of families, who may have already started, continue to break the law to be able to get medicine for their loved one,” said Peake.
“Haleigh’s our number one priority and we’ll do whatever she needs,” said Janea.
For those who are still waiting to be able to use medical marijuana in Georgia, Janea has this message for you:
“Don’t be too disheartened. Just make sure you keep your head up. We’ll get through this all together,” said Janea.