Pubdate: Fri, 21 Mar 2014
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Copyright: 2014 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Company
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Author: Maggie Lee


ATLANTA -- As the clock ticked through the final hours of the annual
state legislative session, state Rep. Allen Peake launched a
last-minute but ultimately unsuccessful plan to pass his medical
marijuana bill.

"For these families, their reality is ... a child who is going to have
one hundred seizures tomorrow," said Peake, R-Macon, author of House
Bill 885, which would have decriminalized possession of a liquid
medicine derived from cannabis that's used to treat pediatric seizures.

With just more than two hours remaining in this year's session, Peake
had pinned his hopes on a maneuver that unhitched his bill from an
unrelated issue of requiring insurance companies to cover pediatric
autism treatment.

Earlier, the autism bill was linked with his medical marijuana

But in the last hour of this year's session, the Senate failed to take
up the medical marijuana issue for a final vote.

By 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Peake had admitted defeat.

Monroe County 4-year-old Haleigh Cox inspired Peake's push for his
medical marijuana bill.

The girl had up to 200 seizures daily since becoming afflicted with a
rare disorder before her first birthday.

"Her seizures have been dramatically reduced. She's a lot more alert.
She smiles at us when we smile at her. She used to not smile so much,"
said Haleigh's mother, Janea Cox, via phone from Colorado, where the
two are renting a home so Haleigh legally can get the liquid medicine
referred to in the bill.

It's an oil rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a compound found in
cannabis. The compound does not cause users to get high.

If Peake's bill had been successful, families would have been able go
to a place such as Colorado where the liquid is legal under state law,
get a prescription for it and have it filled there.
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