Augusta, GA -
Thursday afternoon, Governor Nathan Deal announced plans to pursue clinical trials on cannabis oils. He says, if approved, the trials would be done at Georgia Regents University (GRU), here in Augusta.
GRU's president expressed his appreciation of Governor for his vote of confidence.
A local mother has come up with a way to gain legislators' attention on an issue she says could mean the difference between life or death for hundreds of children across the state.
Preston Weaver, 6, lives with an enemy that threatens his life daily, an enemy that is not seen, but felt. "According to an EEG, he probably has 60-80 a day...seizures...but we don't see them. We only actually see six or eight a day," explains Valerie Weaver, Preston's mother.
Weaver says she and her family have been on the hunt for medicines that will finally win the battle for control, but there hasn't been much success. "We've tried maybe 12 or 15 different medications. We've not found any relief from seizures yet," she says.
However, Weaver says cannabis oil, derived from medical marijuana, has proven to be the best weapon for children like Preston. She says, "it's not anything that will get your children high or anything like that. It has shown amazing results with epilepsy."
Weaver and many parents with special needs children have been urging the state to pass legislation to make cannabis oil legal in Georgia. They were close to a victory recently.
While State Senators killed the bill, State Representative Brian Prince, of Augusta, agrees it's time to give it a push toward life.
"Which is something I think we need to do for the children that suffer with this disease. But, my thing is, as long as it's controlled and medically prescribed, I'm all for it," says Representative Prince.
In an effort to get the attention of lawmakers, Weaver has planned a photo shoot with children like Preston as a way to bring legislators face to face with those, she says, have the most to gain from approved legislation. "Anybody that I can find an address for, I'm going to send a letter to. I'm going to send a picture so they can see who this bill is really going to be helping," adds Weaver.
She says it's a small step toward bringing light to a subject that has been in the dark. "I don't know that it'll make a difference, but I can't sit around and not do anything," she explains.
The photo shoot will take place on Sunday, April 27th at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion park in Evans. All children who suffer with seizures and could possibly benefit from medical cannabis oil are asked to attend.