Gov. Deal announces medical marijuana paths, foster care reform - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Deal announces medical marijuana paths, foster care reform

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ATLANTA, GA (WALB) -

Governor Nathan Deal is moving ahead in Georgia's conversation about paths for medical marijuana and foster care. In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Deal announced two paths going forward for medical marijuana in the wake of recent talks with the FDA.

One option is to expand the use of clinical trials for children with epileptic disorders through a private pharmaceutical company and Georgia Regents University. A second option is to host a new state clinical trial led by Georgia Regents University using cannabis oil from a product obtained from a NIDA farm in Mississippi.

Governor Deal said the options are not mutually exclusive, and they are working to move forward on both of them. In addition, the state's Child Welfare Reform commission will begin meeting in May and submit recommendations to the Governor's office. He said the Dept. of Human Services will undertake 2 Region Pilot Programs strengthening public-private partnerships for foster care.      

Deal says the state and Georgia Regents University will work to help children with seizure disorders get access to a form of medical marijuana.       

Deal says neither option will mean quick relief but could push federal officials toward faster approval of the trials.   "First path that we will pursue will expand the use of clinical trials through a private pharmaceutical company and our state research university Georgia Regents University."       

Georgia is one 11 states where lawmakers considered limited medical marijuana programs this year.  The Georgia bill failed to pass when it was attached to an unrelated bill.     

The man who wrote the medical marijuana bill is encouraged by the actions Governor Deal took today.     

State representative Allen Peake of Macon says even though his bill didn't pass, it's good to see his idea is gathering support from some of the top leaders in the state. 

"The Governor of our state, the chancellor of the entire university system as well as the top researcher in the university system all on board saying let's find a solution. So that gives it a lot of momentum, a lot of push, a lot of influence to really move quicker than maybe we normally would under normal circumstances," Peake said.     

There is little scientific research on cannabis oil, but proponents say the product has helped children in Colorado where it is legally available.

 

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