Parents hopeful with anticipation after medical marijuana bill passes committee

by: Lori Geary Updated:

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ATLANTA - One day after a medical marijuana bill cleared a major hurdle at the Georgia Capitol, supporters are already gearing up for their next fight Monday when it hits the House floor.
 
Channel 2's Lori Geary was given special access Thursday to visit the girl who helped inspire the legislation.
 
Her mother, Janea Cox. told Geary as long as little Haleigh is released from the hospital and is having a good day she'll bring her to the Capitol to try and convince lawmakers to pass the bill that she says could save Haleigh’s life.  
 
“It was hard to go to sleep last night because you want to make sure you weren't dreaming,” Cox told Geary from the side of Haleigh’s hospital bed.
 
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite granted Geary special access to 4-year-old Haleigh’s intensive care unit room so we could talk to her mom about a unanimous house committee vote paving the way for legalizing medical marijuana in Georgia.
 
The bill was named after Haleigh, who suffers from a severe seizure disorder.
 
“I honestly didn't think it was going to get anywhere this year,” Cox said.
 
“I think my colleagues are seeing and understanding a human story, how do we help Georgia families?” said Rep. Allen Peake, who sponsored the bill
 
Many of the families say they're desperate for more treatment options. 
 
In the middle of Geary’s interview, Haleigh started seizing again, something that happens more than 100 times a day. 
 
Recently, she stopped breathing and has spent the past six and a half weeks in ICU.
 
“We lost count after about 56 times,” Cox said.
 
Doctors told Cox her daughter's current seizure medications, which include opiates, are taking their toll.
 
“(They are) just shutting her brain down so much that her brain doesn't remember to tell her body to breathe,” Cox said.
 
Geary traveled to Colorado, where she met several kids experiencing the same dismal prognosis until they were given a special strain of cannabis oil, which is legal in the state.
 
Cox and the other parents want it available in Georgia.
 
Even if this bill were to pass this session, it could be quite a while before any cannabis oil would be available in Georgia.
 
Cox said Haleigh can't wait, so once she's released from the hospital they're packing up and moving to Colorado. That could be as soon as next week.



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