ATLANTA - Families of children with severe seizure disorders were at the State Capitol Wednesday, gearing up for another fight in the hopes to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia.
State Sen. Curt Thompson, a Democrat from DeKalb County, has opened up a discussion by filing a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana, much like Colorado’s law.
Thompson says the additional revenue raised would go towards transportation infrastructure and education if it were to pass in Georgia.
"I anticipate us having a discussion this session. I don't know where it will lead, but if you don't ask you don't get,” Thompson told Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary.
“I will fight with as much energy and compassion and conviction to make sure we don't have recreational use of marijuana in our state,” said state Rep. Allen Peake.
Peake, the Republican state representative spearheading Georgia’s effort to legalize medical marijuana
, made it clear his bill will not lead the state towards legalizing recreational marijuana.
Geary was with Peake when he traveled to Colorado last year and visited several Georgia families whose kids have severe seizure disorders and are now receiving the medicine because it's legal there.
Dr. James Smith moved his family to Colorado to get his 8-year-old daughter the medicine after she suffered her first seizure at the age of 6.
“We saw her wake up for the lack of a better description. Her personality came back,” Smith said.
The emergency room doctor is one of dozens of parents begging Georgia lawmakers to pass the bill.
“I'd have my family back, treat my daughter with something that is the first thing that has shown any significant improvement. It would be Christmas,” Smith said.
The head of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency also testified reminding lawmakers that the feds still consider marijuana a controlled substance.
Even though the Justice Department says it will not prosecute in states that have their own laws, they pointed out that order could go away.