Although Colorado has become a popular destination for families seeking medical marijuana to treat children’s seizures, that state’s public health chief has some strong words of caution for parents. He said more data are needed on the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol oil, a non-psychoactive marijuana derivative, to treat seizures in children.
Gov. Nathan Deal has directed his community health commissioner to do something for rural hospitals, nine of which have closed in Georgia since 2000, leaving whole communities without quick access to emergency care.
The medical marijuana bill failed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, but children with seizure disorders may now have a glimmer of hope that lawmakers will revisit the issue of cannabis oil next year. Thursday afternoon, Governor Nathan Deal announced two pathways for medical marijuana in the Georgia. The governor said he spoke directly with the FDA, who expressed willingness to work with the state to reach its goal of researching for medical marijuana, although neither pathway would provide immediate relief for children suffering from epilepsy.
Governor Nathan Deal will announce what his office called “paths forward” this afternoon for cannabis oil and a foster care pilot project. A media advisory on the Governor’s news conference was vague, but many activists have called for Deal to take executive action after lawmakers failed to pass legislation addressing both issues this session.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Wednesday that parents in Georgia should not have to fear prosecution if they use medical marijuana derivatives to treat their children who suffer from intractable seizures. He called on the state’s prosecutors not to charge families who possess the derivative.
Georgia lawmakers have made it through one of the quickest legislative sessions in recent memory. Along the way, they passed bills limiting healthcare coverage for abortion, expanding where you can bring a gun and barring a Governor from expanding Medicaid. Lawmakers gaveled out of the 2014 session at midnight, per their custom, but not before battling over the gun bill. Republicans (and some Democrats) were split on how broad the legislation should be.
Georgia lawmakers have now made it to the other side. That is, the other side of so-called Crossover Day, which took place Monday at the state Capitol. They are now three-quarters of the way through the 2014 legislative session, and barreling toward the end, currently scheduled for March 20. Any bill that didn’t pass one of the General Assembly’s chambers Monday won’t have a shot at becoming law in the final ten days of this year’s 40-day legislative session.
A state House panel Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would permit medical marijuana to be grown and used in Georgia for treatment of patients with cancer, glaucoma and seizure disorders under tightly controlled restrictions. The Health and Human Services Committee’s passage of the high-profile legislation paves the way for the full House to vote on the bill.
The sponsor of a medical marijuana bill said Monday after a three-hour legislative hearing that the proposal must get significant revisions before it can move forward in the Georgia General Assembly. But state Rep. Allen Peake’s efforts drew support from the vast majority of people who packed the hearing room.