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Parents hopeful with anticipation after medical marijuana bill passes committee

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Updated: 2/28 11:24 am
By Lori Geary

ATLANTA — One day after a medical marijuana bill cleared a major hurdle at the Georgia Capitol, supporters are already gearing up for their next fight Monday when it hits the House floor.

Channel 2's Lori Geary was given special access Thursday to visit the girl who helped inspire the legislation.

Her mother, Janea Cox. told Geary as long as little Haleigh is released from the hospital and is having a good day she'll bring her to the Capitol to try and convince lawmakers to pass the bill that she says could save Haleigh’s life.

“It was hard to go to sleep last night because you want to make sure you weren't dreaming,” Cox told Geary from the side of Haleigh’s hospital bed.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite granted Geary special access to 4-year-old Haleigh’s intensive care unit room so we could talk to her mom about a unanimous house committee vote paving the way for legalizing medical marijuana in Georgia.

The bill was named after Haleigh, who suffers from a severe seizure disorder.

“I honestly didn't think it was going to get anywhere this year,” Cox said.

“I think my colleagues are seeing and understanding a human story, how do we help Georgia families?” said Rep. Allen Peake, who sponsored the bill

Many of the families say they're desperate for more treatment options.

In the middle of Geary’s interview, Haleigh started seizing again, something that happens more than 100 times a day.

Recently, she stopped breathing and has spent the past six and a half weeks in ICU.

“We lost count after about 56 times,” Cox said.

Doctors told Cox her daughter's current seizure medications, which include opiates, are taking their toll.

“(They are) just shutting her brain down so much that her brain doesn't remember to tell her body to breathe,” Cox said.

Geary traveled to Colorado, where she met several kids experiencing the same dismal prognosis until they were given a special strain of cannabis oil, which is legal in the state.

Cox and the other parents want it available in Georgia.

Even if this bill were to pass this session, it could be quite a while before any cannabis oil would be available in Georgia.

Cox said Haleigh can't wait, so once she's released from the hospital they're packing up and moving to Colorado. That could be as soon as next week.

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whosaysnocan - 3/2/2014 10:50 AM
0 Votes
Realchange~there is no "miracle" drug for constant chronic disabling pain. It is an alternative to the legal poisons that are currently available. Personal experience with several drug protocols for said pain relief caused more side effects and diminished quality of life for me. Also due to the rampant abuse of the meds it is making it more difficult to have a prescription filled. Have you had a problem? Are you automatically suspected as a "drug seeker?" I do the best I can with the least amount of the drugs. I have had the opportunity to have some pot, the relief is amazing without side effects inherent to the narcotics. As for the doctors that would write for pot, it is up to them to see through the ones that want it "just because." As I have posted to you, thank you for your service in Desert Storm. I pray you have as best of quality of life each day you suffer with your service connected injuries.

Realchange - 2/28/2014 2:42 PM
1 Vote
Propganda. Ask European countries that legalized pot in the early 80's how it worked out for their crime rate and stopping other drugs. Keep hearing it helps my cancer mantra over and over. When CA legalized it was for anyone with any valid medical problem. Citizens got back injuries over night. I got this or that and note for my Dr to try pot since nothing else works. YES I know what I am talking about dealing with constant chronic pain due to military service in Desert Storm. POT is not miracle drug it's just propgnda push to get it legal since so many in society are determined to use it.

samdotorb - 2/28/2014 1:05 PM
1 Vote
I applaud whatever steps were taken and whatever steps are planned to open up this possibility of healing. I've seen first hand the comfort this banned and outlawed herb has offered to families of cancer patients. Please don't let ignorance block this supposedly untested drug and keep it away from those who really need the assistance it offers. Pot has a bad wrap. Weed is a recreational drug that opens doors to more unconventional drug use? Some ignorant statements like this need to be put to rest once and for all! Big drug companies may want to block this and any other easy to come by drug and limit it and figure a way to seize all they can of it and promote their own agenda and capitalize on it's use. Billions of dollars are at stake either way. Marijuana has much more health benefits and needs to be given all the respect it can. Pot has been around much longer than most other drugs have and we have had all the time in the world to test it. Stop the negative and embrace the positive. Let it be. Let the benefits outweigh the stigma. See what happens. Pray Florida also opens up it's mind to legalize this amazing drug.
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