COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The mountains of Colorado are providing peace for several metro Atlanta families, but not because of the scenic beauty but rather because of state medical marijuana laws.
Channel 2’s Lori Geary traveled with state Rep. Allen Peake to Colorado Springs to meet with the Georgia families and their children who are receiving treatment.
Aaron Klepinger had never met Peake in person and he choked back tears during the weekend visit.
“Thank you so much. We really want to go back to Georgia,” Klepinger said.
Peake is sponsoring legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia and reunite several families who split in half to get treatment for their children in Colorado.
Eight-year-old Hunter Klepinger has suffered from a severe seizure disorder his entire life. His parents told Geary he would have hundreds of seizures a day, each one lasting several minutes.
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Two months after the family moved Hunter from east Cobb County to Colorado for treatment using medical marijuana, his seizures are fewer and last a matter of seconds.
“The first day we saw a huge improvement and we had never seen that with any other medicine ever before,” Klepinger said. “He was having terrible seizures. He was having terrible fits of constipation, screaming, up all night.”
The Klepingers had tried drastic measures before relocating. They’ve used a dozen anti-seizure medications, some with severe side effects. They also put a special implant in Hunter’s chest for seizure control as well as undergoing acupuncture treatments and special diets.
The bill would have a lot of restrictions. Cannabis oil would not be manufactured in Georgia; it would be shipped and only available in clinical trials at teaching hospitals for those who suffer from glaucoma, cancer and severe seizure disorders.
Peake explained that oil from the plant would be legal in Georgia, mixed with olive oil and given to the patient in a dropper.
Peake told Geary the visit to Colorado energized his mission in the state Capitol.
“It’s motivated me more as I visit with these families to work hard, to share the story, to get the facts back to my colleagues so that they can see what I’ve seen with my eyes,” Peake said. “It’s changing his life.”
If the bill is not passed the Klepingers are not likely coming back to Georgia.
“We’re not coming home. We’re not coming home, we can’t,” Klepinger said.