ATLANTA - Some parents of children suffering from severe seizures say Gov. Nathan Deal's push to start clinical trials on medical marijuana doesn't go far enough.
They're not writing the whole thing off, but many parents told Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant that they worry what the governor wants to do could take months, possibly years, to pull off.
The families say they can't afford to wait.
Kim Clark moved with her son Caden Clark from metro Atlanta to Colorado, where cannabis oil is legal. Caden began the therapy to treat his seizures
last week. In the last three days he hasn't had any seizures.
"He's not having hundreds of seizures in the last week. He's had seven. It's huge for us," Clark said. "And that may not last. We're not saying it's a miracle cure, but it means a world of difference for us."
A bill to decriminalize possession of cannabis oil in Georgia got mired in politics and died in the final hours of this year's legislative session.
This week Deal announced a plan to pave the way for clinical trials in Georgia on the effectiveness of cannabis oil on children with certain seizure disorders.
"Well, I think we've all been impressed with the fact that there is a sense of urgency here," Deal said.
But for Clark, optimism is mixed with disappointment.
"I can't not be honest and say that lack of immediate access is concerning," Clark said.
The governor's plans don't change that, plus there’s no specific timetable for the clinical trials and what kids will qualify.
"It is something that will require probably many months, hopefully not many years," Deal said.
So while it can't help her son, Clark's not totally writing off the governor's plan.
"We need those trials, we need that research
and I hope it works for as many kids as possible," Clark said.
Researchers at Georgia Regents University would run the clinical trials for a private pharmaceutical company and on their own. The governor's office says it’s been working with the FDA for the proper approvals.
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