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Deal Announces Plan To Legalize Cannabis Oil For Epileptic Children

Gov. Nathan Deal announced two possible routes Georgia could embark on in an effort to legalize cannabis oil for children with epileptic disorders.

Gov. Nathan Deal has announced two possible solutions the state could pursue that would lead to the safe and legal use of cannabis oil by Georgia children suffering from epileptic disorders. Credit: Patch file
Gov. Nathan Deal has announced two possible solutions the state could pursue that would lead to the safe and legal use of cannabis oil by Georgia children suffering from epileptic disorders. Credit: Patch file

Just weeks after legislation that would have allowed the limited use of medical marijuana for seizure patients languished in the Georgia General Assembly, Gov. Nathan Deal is mapping out a path towards its legal use by those in need.

The governor is plotting out a method to pave the way for the "safe and legal use of cannabis oil by Georgia children suffering from epileptic disorders," the governor's office said on Thursday in a news release. 

Deal said he's consulted with the Food and Drug Administration on how the state could begin legal clinical trials with cannabis oil products at Georgia Regents University Augusta

The governor said the state so far has identified two paths to pursue. One would include the university partnering with a private pharmaceutical company that's developed a purified liquid cannabinoid currently in the testing phase with the FDA. Deal noted this route would the state's "most promising solution."  

The product, he added, contains no THC, the ingredient in marijuana that "intoxicates a user." Georgia Regents would develop what Deal termed a "designed" trial for children with epileptic disorders.

To serve as many children as possible, Deal said the state could pursue a statewide program that would allow Georgia Regents University to team up with other research institutions across the state. 

Georgia has been in talks with the private pharmaceutical company and Deal said they are "willing to continue those initial talks." 

Another path would be to implement a second clinical trial at Georgia Regents that would utilize cannabidiol oil obtained from a cannabis product grown by the National Institute on Drug Abuse on its farm located at the University of Mississippi. This would take more time, Deal said, as it would require Georgia Regents to work through the approval process from the national institute and the FDA. 

The governor said he is looking to move forward on both options at the same time, as they are not mutually exclusive. 

“The General Assembly this year gave serious consideration to legislation that would pave the way for patients in need of cannabis to receive it safely and legally," he said. "An issue that could have triggered controversy instead yielded teamwork and a commitment to see this through, as legislators – and I as well – learned the stories of these brave families who are desperately seeking relief for their children’s debilitating conditions. The legislation earned significant levels of support in both houses and in both parties but didn’t make into any bills that reached my desk."

Even if the legislation would have landed on his desk, the governor said the state most likely needed to move in this direction. 

Georgia Regents University said it's also excited about possibly starting the clinical trials.

“As the state’s academic health center encompassing a 154-bed children’s hospital, we have a responsibility to address the needs of families whose children are suffering,” said President Ricardo Azziz. “We are appreciative of Gov. Nathan Deal for this vote of confidence and look forward to working with the state to establish clinical trials to research the benefits of treating epilepsy and other neurological conditions with cannabidiol oil."

Tell us: what do you think of Gov. Deal's latest announcement? 

Smiling1 April 11, 2014 at 08:36 AM
I hope the families get the help they need soon. Keep in mind who the obstructionists were and take the appropriate measures to vote them out.
Wallflower April 11, 2014 at 08:53 AM
I think it is absolutely ridiculous not to allow medical marijuana. For people that need it, it is just another medicine, with less side effects than many other prescription drugs. What is wrong with these people in our government?? (ha ha the list would be too long.)
Melinda April 11, 2014 at 09:54 AM
They can pass the "Slow Poke Bill" immediately but not a bill that can benefit some of those suffering from a medical condition. As a cancer patient who is reading more research on how cannabis derivatives can help myself as well as others with different chronic or as in my case terminal conditions I find it appalling this bill did not pass on the first go around. Some are citing political maneuvering by a representative from Buford that caused it to stall in the Senate. If this is true I hope no one in her circle of friends or family ever is afflicted with any of these conditions. she should be ashamed of resorting to these tactics and needs to NOT be reelected. Unfortunately, most politicians have no shame and really don't serve the people well who elected them. Time for our voting power to speak for us and not put people back in office who don't support the will of the people.
Kirby Mayeaux April 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM
To Matt Duckworth and owners of american lube fast ( customer beware ) Duckworth , you sure showed how low and what kind of scum you really are by setting me up to look like a thief so I'd quit in order for you to move Marty's crew in , you did the same thing to the crew before me ,even the officers yesterday knew it was bull and already told me no one was going to jail , Kim lol want a be cop , you most think I'm just some small minded poor white trash , we'll you need to know , I know you knew Britt been trafficking drugs from the shop for months and you was buying weed from Britt for your wife , I could care less about that stupid job but i do care about the way you made me look like a thief , everyone knows that's just bull , but little do you know the guy who worked closely with law and drug enforcement also who wrote the articles about A.l.F being a haven for for drug use and selling A.k.A Mr macfarlin local business owner was me , 2 years ago Timmy and Matt turner came to you and told you that Britt was doing drugs and selling it ..you told me and them that Britt was your best friend and it was useless to say anything , you like your pills and out of your own mouth told me you didn't care because your wife smoke weed anyways I will be at the court house today and I will be a witness against Britt , your best friend and partner who we still know you meet here in cummings still, plus your probably thinking well you could just say ( he's only saying that because I fired him for stealing ) WRONG they believe me about Britt and got their guy they got there bust so I'm pretty sure they will believe me about your involvement and cover up , plus the public will know about how you Train your shops to recommend auto service by scrapping the dry oil off caps to sell engine flushes, selling fuel injection cleaners by a e.k.g machine that cause the score to be worst then what it really is , snap shots that hold a mass of fluid so of course the power steering, transmission fluid going to look dark and dirty it's just wrong to steal and lie to people , I spoke to 8 people yesterday alone who will not be back and I have over 30 I will be speaking to that will go where I'm going because they only there because of me and jerry , spoke to the crew they will not be there long , just Jason , the dea and home land security , Atlanta waste , Jim that we just got he whole fleet of limos , manager and asst manager at hotel it's to many people but I can tell you truthfully , it ranges from battery plus to panda all the way to the hospital they will back me and believe me when I explain about the drugs and the money you and alf deceive them out of , I will continue this until no cars will use your lube shop , I will be calling the fox news and other aware groups to tell them the same true facts I'm explaining to you now any FB and on line group will be getting the same information , plus the owner will be getting calls about all the brakes and engine that has either been put on wrong are hurt there motors and a copy of this letter will be sent and posted my mission is to expose you and american lube fast company for what you really stand for and so you will stop hiding behind a label ( Christian base company when y'all are more shady then any other company , he'll even change your account names on you deposit to avoid paying taxes, any ways I hope you have a great day and thank you .....
Charlie Russell April 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM
This happens so often in these shops. It's unfortunate you can't trust any of these shops. Maybe the dealership is the safest answer, I don't know.

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