Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jul 2016
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2016 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Author: Jim Galloway


Georgia Man Says Drug Beneficial for Autistic Son.

CLEVELAND - Dale Jackson, the father of an 8-yearold autistic son, 
flew up to the site of the Republican National Convention on Monday 
to ask his party's platform committee to endorse the use of medicinal 
marijuana where appropriate.

He wanted to take Georgia's fight national.

Jackson found a delegate who would pitch the idea, but his luck ended 
there. The 112-member committee that is currently drafting policy 
positions for the 2016 presidential contest rejected it out of hand, 
by a voice vote of two-thirds or more.

"I was prepared for the failure of the amendment," said Jackson, who 
took the rebuke hard. "Like other defeats in the past, I will 
continue on to fight for my son and his medicine."

Jackson, the chairman of the 3rd Congressional District GOP, has been 
active in state Rep. Allen Peake's effort to legalize the use of 
medicinal marijuana in Georgia. Jackson said he and his wife began 
administering cannabis oil to their son, diagnosed with nonverbal 
autism, on March 3. He still doesn't speak, but his condition has 
improved, the young father said.

An effort to permit a few licensed companies to grow the drug in 
Georgia for therapeutic use failed this past legislative session.

The effort to obtain a national Republican endorsement for cannabis 
oil - not legalized marijuana use - was only one of several issues, 
big and small, that Republicans wrestled with Monday.

Republicans killed an effort to permit states to bar welfare 
recipients from buying junk food - a position that brought a Georgia 
delegate into the debate. Scott Johnson of Marietta said such 
restrictions, attempted in some states, expose retailers to uncertain 
and often hair-splitting regulation.

"It's very hard to have a health food definition. Just as an example, 
Oreos were OK, but chocolate-covered Oreos were not, because they 
were considered candy," Johnson said. Afterward, he admitted that 
Coke's tall profile in Atlanta was another consideration.

But it was the debate over medicinal marijuana that sparked some of 
the sharpest exchanges of the afternoon.

A delegate from California drew a line between pot and gun violence.

Others pointed to the problems states have had with prescription 
drugs such as Oxycotin, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration. Others pointed out that marijuana in any form remains 
on a federal list of forbidden drugs.

"It's the opiates that they're on, is what's causing all the 
shooters, and the addictions and the overdoses," Jackson said after 
the vote. "Not cannabis. But that's FDA-approved, so they're OK with that."
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