Augusta, GA -
Governor Nathan Deal met with a British drug manufacturer to talk about the possibility of trials with a marijuana-based drug. The drug would help treat children with seizures, and would be conducted at Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
After Georgia lawmakers failed to a pass a bill this year that would allow clinical trials with cannabis oil, many parents have been waiting for a ray of hope. Governor Deal, the company, and GRU signed a memorandum of understanding to explore holding clinical trials in Georgia back in May, and Tuesday’s meeting means the trials are one step closer.
For Preston Weaver, it’s been a long wait.
When his mom, Valerie Weaver, heard the cannabis oil bill failed in Georgia this year, she lost faith in the system.
“Angry, very, very angry, it was completely ridiculous why it didn’t get passed,” said Weaver.
News Channel 6 has been following the Weaver family through their challenges with the law.
Preston has had epilepsy since birth, and suffers from 80 seizures per day, and sometimes more.
Because of the way that whole thing went down, all of these children suffered, all of them, not just the children with epilepsy, but the children with autism too,” said Weaver.
With the announcement of the cannabis oil trials coming to GRU, Weaver made sure her son was first on the list.
“It gives me a great sense of hope, I am just very eager for them to get on board with this and find out, and start the trials,” said Weaver.
The hospital will be working with GW Pharmaceuticals, a company that has already created and tested a marijuana based-drug called Epidiolex.
Unlike the common medical marijuana, this drug does not contain THC, and as a result does not give the person a high.
“There’s a difference between smoking a joint and having the oil,” said Dawn Marie Beals.
Dawn Marie Beals is in a support group with Weaver, her cousin’s son experiences severe epilepsy.
“It’s literally no worse than if you go to the herbal store and you get lavender oil, or whatever kind of oils you put in your tea or different things you take, it’s the same thing,” said Beals.
This group of women believes a holistic approach to this disorder, and many diseases could transform the world.
“Educate yourself before you pass judgment on it because this is going to change lives,” said Weaver.
There are still many logistics to go through such as how many people will participate in the trial and how much of the oil will be given to each. There is no set date on when these trials will start, but they are hoping they will begin by the end of the year.