JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. -- The issue of medical marijuana cultivation will get major attention in this year's Georgia legislature. One man, an hour from the Capitol, is addressing it his own way.
Mike Buffington is what you might call an amateur gardener. "I don't even like mowing grass," he confessed to 11Alive's Matt Pearl.
He owns some Bonsai plants, Colorado ferns, and one empty pot.
"This is my pot … waiting on the pot!"
That pot will soon hold medical marijuana, and Buffington's not shy about saying so: "It's just a plant! That's the point. It's just a plant."
He runs the Jackson Herald and has stated his plans in editorials.
"I smoked a bit of medical cannabis," he read back to Pearl. "It didn't kill me. I turned around and wrote my article this week under the influence of whatever I was under the influence from."
"If it takes growing pot in my house to bring attention to the issue, so be it," he said.
Last year supporters rejoiced as Georgia lawmakers legalized medical marijuana possession. But they didn't legalize cultivation or sale, so the only way Georgians can possess it is by breaking the law.
Buffington doesn't seem concerned: "We have a new jail, and the food's pretty good there, so I'm not particularly worried."
He worries far more about his son. Clark Buffington started having seizures at age six. He's now twenty-one years old.
"He's tried every drug on the market," his dad said. "He's had two brain surgeries."
"We've tried everything possible, and his seizures are still uncontrolled."
That's why Buffington the parent – and publisher – is willing to raise some mayhem. If the legislature steps up, he'll make his new plant a present.
"If they let me grow it, and the bill goes through, then I'd love to donate it to the governor," he said. "He could decorate his office!"
After he first stated his intentions, Buffington heard from a firm in California willing to send him the medical marijuana seedlings. He, of course, doesn't have the technology to turn the leaves into the actual medical oil. He says, that's not really the point.