GA dad pushes for medical marijuana for son with autism

Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 at 9:47 PM EST
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A law made Georgia one of three states to list autism as a valid medical condition to use...
A law made Georgia one of three states to list autism as a valid medical condition to use medical marijuana. (Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Georgia father is making a push for a change regarding the cultivation of medical marijuana.

Dale Jackson said his son can legally use cannabis oil to help with his autism, but there isn't a dispensary he can buy it from.

A law made Georgia one of three states to list autism as a valid medical condition to use medical marijuana. Another law approved the actual use of medical marijuana by those who are approved and have cards.

The problem is that there is nowhere to buy it in Georgia.

A parent in Georgia could risk jail time, knowingly breaking federal laws to get what he said is a life-changing medicine for his child.

For Dale, the pain he is feeling is a fresh pain, one that comes months after he saw a complete turnaround for his son, Colin, who is 9 years old.

Colin has severe autism and Dale spent nearly 18 months creating a cannabis oil that was specific to his needs.

Except, in the state of Georgia, Dale can't legally buy it for his son.

"We're seeing that regression as we have come so far with him and his personal development, it's quite painful," said Dale.

For you to really understand what Colin goes through without the oil, Dale said imagine not being able to see your child sleep at night, waking up with him knocking his head against the wall.

As a parent, Dale's concern is for safe consistent access to medical treatment that helps his son, and for them, that is cannabis oil.

"Georgia has really done almost a disservice to our citizens because they give us a card that doesn't give us anything. Because unless you grow it process it and distribute it in the state of Georgia, all of those confines have to be within the state of Georgia, then you can't do it," said Dale.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said publicly on Monday that he opposes allowing medical marijuana to be grown in the state.

Dale said that won't stop his fight for help for Colin.

"We're definitely going to keep pushing, I can assure the governor and the next governor that we aren't going away," explained Dale.

The Jackson family isn't the only one with this problem, 3,500 other people in the state are on the registry to legally use medical marijuana.

Dale said there could be many more.

"So many people are so disappointed with our laws that they are just not bothering with getting the card because it doesn't get us anything. Really the only people who get the cards are parents who are treating our children because we are concerned about DFCS coming in and snatching our children," explained Dale.

Governor Deal also said on Monday that advocates should focus on getting federal lawmakers to change how medical marijuana is transported across state lines.

There is a bill currently in limbo, but Dale believes it will likely not pass.

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