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Parents become 'drug traffickers' to deal with Georgia's medical marijuana laws

Vince and Michelle Seivert's teenage daughter is epileptic. They have to breaks laws to get medicine she needs.
Medical cannabis oil

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Vince and Michelle Seivert's teenage daughter is epileptic.

From their kitchen table in rural LaGrange, they talked to 11Alive's Chris Hopper about the difficulties they face getting the cannabis oil they say has dramatically reduced her seizures.

Miranda's parents said before taking cannabis oil, she had 12 to 20 seizures a day. Since, she's reportedly down to four a month.

While Miranda can legally use and possess cannabis oil here in Georgia, the problem is getting the oil back to Georgia legally.

Four times a year, they pack their bags and fly to Colorado where the marijuana costs less to buy than their plane tickets to get there.

They then have to illegally ship it or carry the oil back in their luggage.

The Seivert's want to be able to buy the medicine here.

"It would be like going to the pharmacy, really we go up the road not very far and get what we need," Vince Seivert said.

"We didn't plan on becoming drug traffickers but that's what we are."

This is their routine because Georgia's Governor Deal and state lawmakers are leading the fight against patients being able to buy and grow cannabis oil in Georgia.

11Alive is getting down to the bottom of the reasons behind lawmakers concerns.

Dr. Robert Morris commissioned the most thorough study to date on medical marijuana's impact on statewide crime. In the 11 states he analyzed, neither homicide, rape, robbery nor theft increased. 

"This is pretty solid evidence for being one study that's suggesting there's not going to be an increase in state crime rates," Morris said.

Last year in Georgia, a look at the months before and after the passage of house bill one showed marijuana and drug related arrests decreased.

But, this is a complicated issue with an unpredictable end in sight.

House Bill 722, legislation in committee that would legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana, is expected to be voted on next week. 

The Seivert's told 11Alive if the bill does not pass, they are planning to move to Colorado for good. 

Supporters of HB 722 are delivering 12,000 signatures to Governor Nathan Deal's doorstep on Tuesday. 

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