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Medical Marijuana Bill Fizzles in Closing Hours of Legislature

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would have been allowed to treat glaucoma, seizures and cancer under a bill that failed to win final passage this week by the Georgia Legislature.

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill Georgia lawmakers failed to approve. Credit: File|Patch
Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill Georgia lawmakers failed to approve. Credit: File|Patch

A Georgia bill linking medical use of marijuana with insurance coverage for pediatric autism failed to win passage Thursday night as the legislative session wrapped up.

The House voted 168 to 2 to approve the limited use of medical marijuana for seizure patients sending the bill back to the Senate, says WGCL, but the bill was never brought to the floor for a vote as time ran out.

The state Senate had voted Thursday that Georgians should be allowed to possess a liquid medicine derived from cannabis that’s used to treat pediatric seizures, but only if the House would, in return, require insurance companies to provide coverage for pediatric autism, reports the Macon Telegraph.

"Everybody loses, not just the children with disabilities, not just the parents fighting for their own children. It costs all of us as more children suffer, and that is an insurmountable problem and you can not put a dollar amount on that," Melissa Soleris, the mother of a child with autism, told the TV station.

The House had pushed back against the same autism measures on fears that it’s too expensive a mandate for insurers.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, sponsored Haleigh’s Hope Act after learning of 4-year-old Haleigh Cox of Monroe County, who suffers from epilepsy and endures as many as 100 seizures a day, reports Georgia Public Radio.

For children like Haleigh, a marijuana derivative called cannabidiol (CBD) has significantly reduced the seizures. Parents have said CBD is the only treatment providing relief.

Peake said his bill would allow academic research institutions to grow the plant, not businesses or individuals.

The bill would have tasked the Georgia Composite Medical Board with oversight of the use of marijuana derivatives in an oil or pill form, for treatment of patients within an academic medical center research setting, under the direction of a physician.

The only conditions approved for treatment would be seizure disorders, glaucoma, and nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiation.

Tammy Osier March 25, 2014 at 06:41 PM
Several people have asked the question as to why one person can try to attach a bill and it sabotages the vote. I'm curious. Can't they just turn it down since they outnumber one person? anybody know?
jMichael March 25, 2014 at 07:06 PM
to Harry Ball: We understand that calling others fools makes you feel superior. Such is the need of the personally insecure. But it and its alternates are getting a bit tiresome. No offense, I hope.
jMichael March 25, 2014 at 07:08 PM
Tammy. You ask a good question. I too would welcome clarification.
Tammy Osier March 26, 2014 at 06:11 AM
JMichael, most of the problems and blame game excuses come from the way our system has deviated from its original purposes. I'm all for term limits in congress. Look at anything where leaders go on too long and become stale, reinventing the same old thing. We have them for the presidency to hold down a one man rule type of government, and I think we should do the same for congress for the same reason. This introduction of bills and provisions for votes needs to be explained and stopped if it has no merit to getting the will of the people done.
Taxpayer and voter March 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Tami - medical marijuana can be administered in many ways ie: capsules, vaporizer, eating the extract, etc. If it can ease the pain of those with cancer, LET IT BE SO! Georgia is always putting important things off.

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