Local families await final steps in medical marijuana bill



It's a huge week for local families hoping to bring controversial medical marijuana to Georgia.
The bill legalizing the drug in a limited form for children with severe seizure disorders is headed to the full Senate as early as Tuesday.
Channel 2’s Ashley Swann traveled to Covington to meet a family who has three children suffering from severe, debilitating seizures on a daily basis. The children could be some of the many who could benefit from medical marijuana. The family said they're on pins and needles awaiting this week's vote.
Like so many in Georgia, Kelli Hopkins is praying the controversial medical marijuana bill will be passed by state lawmakers during this final week of session.
"Even if it doesn't help our children, if it would help another child, then we're all for it. We want that so bad,” Hopkins said.
Three of Hopkins' four children ranging in age from 6 to 21 suffer from debilitating conditions that include severe daily seizures. The stories of children like hers benefiting from cannabis oil have given the Hopkins family incredible hope.
"It's overwhelming to think that our children might even go one day without a seizure, that's just incredible,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins even traveled to the state Capitol to meet the bill's sponsor and lobby state lawmakers alongside other families like hers. It was an experience she says she will never forget.
Last week, the bill was unanimously approved by a Senate committee, but combined with another bill that would require insurance coverage for children under 6 with autism. It's now headed for final approval in the Senate – something that Hopkins and other supporters are praying it receives.
"It's not just a bill that's out there, it has a personal story to it, so many stories. So many families in Georgia will be blessed by this,” Hopkins said.
If the bill passes in the senate, it will head back to the house where lawmakers must approve several amendments.These families hope it will ultimately be signed and passed into law by the governor.

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