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Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Visit to hospital prompts lawmaker to back medical marijuana
Forty-eight hours ago Allen Peake wasn’t sold on medical marijuana, but a visit to a hospital may have convinced the Georgia lawmaker to help draft a bill to make it legal.
Republican state Rep. Allen Peake, of Macon, visited 4-year-old Haleigh Cox in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston on Wednesday.
“When you see that little girl, the precious little angel," Peake said. "It's touched me deep, deep in my soul, so I'm going to do everything I can to see what we can do for these families."
Haleigh suffers from a severe seizure disorder. Her parents said because they can’t get the medicine they need in Georgia, they are relocating to Colorado, where children treated with cannabis oil are seeing amazing results.
Now Peake has joined the Cox family to fight for Haleigh’s life and for thousands of Georgians who could benefit from medical marijuana.
"This has been a huge shift for me," Peake said. "I want to be very clear. We don't want to go down the slippery slope of legalizing marijuana in our state."
Blaine Cloud said his 8-year-old daughter also suffers from severe seizure disorder. Cloud spent Thursday in the state Capitol explaining that medical marijuana is a necessary treatment and that children won’t be smoking it or getting high.
"It can be grown to a certain strain which is high CBD, which is the medicine, and low THC, which is what gets you high," Cloud said.
"It comes in an oil format, just like the Tylenol you take today. It comes out of a dropper," Blaine said.
Peake joins House Speaker David Ralston, who said he’s open to legalizing medical marijuana as this year’s legislative session opened. Ralston said it’s time to take the politics out of it.
"Why can't we as a state be compassionate enough to look at what makes sense?" Peake asked. "If it was my child I'd be crawling over broken glass to get legislation passed, as would any legislator who's here.”