Georgia Legislators’ biggest concern about legalizing cannabis oil

By LINDA SPECTOR BOEHRINGER

Members of the Georgia General Assembly are tweaking legislation in an effort to understand the impact of legalizing cannabis oil in the state of Georgia.

The final report of the joint study committee on the prescription of medical cannabis for serious medical condition prepared jointly by the Senate Research Office and House Budget & Research Office summarizes full support of cannabis oil.

The main concerns lie in the manufacturing and distribution processes.  Several states legalized medical marijuana but due to improper language in the law the same states are facing serious issues with manufacturing and distribution.  States that legalized marijuana confirm that concerns of the product getting in the wrong hands are warranted.  Finding control within legislation of the cultivating and distribution of cannabis oil is very important.

Legislators on the study committee heard the testimonies of law enforcement, parents of children as well as patients who suffer a great deal due to life-threatening illnesses. There is an overwhelming consensus that denying a child’s relief from pain and better quality of life is pointless. At the same time, recreational use of marijuana will not be tolerated in the state of Georgia.

An overwhelming support from the community to aid children, parents and adults in obtaining the oil has been recorded.  Finally hope and recognition have been given to a large group people who incur great suffering, most of them children and parents of these children.

Testimonies of people suffering from debilitating illnesses and parents’ of children suffering from illness made a huge impact.

Aaron Klepinger’s son Hunter suffers from seizure disorders and is currently treated with cannabis oil in Colorado.  Klepinger testified that prior to using cannabis oil Hunter was treated with FDA approved drugs which caused pain, rapid weight gain, extreme insomnia and other nasty side effects but still didn’t reduce seizures.

Since using cannabis oil, Hunter has shown increased awareness, increased eye contact and an overall general ability to function better within his environment.  Hunter is happier, calmer and less agitated due to the regular use of cannabis oil.  More importantly, Hunter has shown a 30 percent reduction in seizures which proves to be the best benefit for a better quality of life.

Sgt. Chris Clark’s son suffers from Lennox – Gastuat Syndrome.  Not only are Clark’s son’s seizures frequent but he has several different types of seizures.  Before using the oil to treat his son, Clark tried 20 FDA approved seizure medications that caused terrible side effects, including diminishing his son’s ability to walk.  His son underwent two brain surgeries that helped reduce some seizures but it did not reduce the frequency and number of seizures.  Once cannabis oil was introduced to Clark’s son the reduction in seizures were notable.

“I have met with the children and families of these children who endure these life threatening seizures. For years they have tried dozens of medications which have been unsuccessful while experiencing a life of declining health,” said Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-27).

“The glimmer of hope that CBD oil provides is one that we cannot ignore. While it is not a cure, for many children it reduces seizures to a level which allows them to enjoy a life with their parents and siblings. We should continue to focus on providing the safest form of this oil and I will continue to support legislation that allows this oil to be available to our children here in Georgia,” Hawkins said.

The final report of the joint study committee on the prescription of medical cannabis for serious medical condition prepared jointly by the Senate Research Office and House Budget & Research Office summarizes full support for legalizing sale of the oil.

Research shows cannabis oil is a healthy type of oil with unsaturated fats and a low degree of saturated fats.  When combined with olive oil, it’s considered to be extremely healthy.  The drug obtained from dried leaves and flowers of the help plant appears to have life changing effects especially in patients suffering from: Cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, mitochondrial disease and more.

There are several bills in the Legistures pertaining to the legalization of medical marijuana use in Georgia.  For example, Rep. Allen Peake (R-141) has HB 855 which supports the legalization of cannabis oil but doesn’t support it in a form that can be smoked.  Sen. Curtis Thompson (D-5) has SB 7 which supports the legalization of marijuana that can be smoked, but his main concerns are late stage cancer and glaucoma patients.

The voting is in process and the results will reveal if people with terminal and painful illnesses in Georgia can seek relief or if they will chose to move to another state like Colorado, where the sale of medical marijuana is legal.

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