Georgia lawmakers to discuss medical marijuana bill
ATLANTA -- At the State Capitol on Monday, the push to legalize medical marijuana will continue with a committee hearing at 5 p.m.
HB-885 is known as "Haleigh's Hope."
Haleigh Cox is the little girl whose story got lawmakers moving on the bill. Her mother says she has a hundred seizures a day and is now in the hospital fighting for her life. That's why, for many, this measure isn't political.
The little faces of sick children have turned the issue of medical marijuana into a fast-moving juggernaut in Georgia. An idea that was once dead on arrival under the Gold Dome could now become law in a matter of days if the momentum continues.
It would not be a moment too soon for some like 4-year-old Haleigh.
"She's quit breathing at least fifty times in the last month," said her mother, Jenea Cox.
Cox was on 11Alive News Sunday Morning with Valerie Hoff. She says the family is in a race against time. They may have to move immediately to Colorado, where marijuana is legal, to try and save their daughter.
"We don't think Haleigh has much more time," Cox said. "She's been in the PICU now for about 30 days. Once we get out of the hospital, I think it will be about two weeks, then we'll be out in Colorado ready to get the medicine."
HB-885 has extraordinary bipartisan support, from the conservative right to the liberal left. Voters too are signaling their support through polling that cuts across all demographics. Ironically, a medical marijuana law is already on the books in Georgia from 1980. That's the template lawmakers are using again.
"It's a 30 year-old law that has sat dormant," said James Bell, the Director of the Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform, and Education. "Georgia has lost 30 years of potential research value here, and we're hoping that this year is the year we can bring that law back into being."
Only invited guests will speak at Monday's committee hearing. They include parents, doctors, researchers and experts on CBD, a strain of marijuana that's being discussed. The public will get to weigh in at another hearing, tentatively set for Thursday.
The family has been raising funds to help with the move. If you want to help click here. The campaign is set to end early Monday morning.
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