Girl’s seizures spur medical marijuana legislation in Georgia

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GEORGIA — Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Thursday that will legalize low-THC cannabis oil for certain “medication-resistant epilepsies,” while creating an infrastructure, registration process and research program for the drug. (THC is the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana.)

The bill is dubbed Haleigh’s Hope Act.

It’s Oklahoma equivalent, Katie and Cayman’s Law, is just waiting for Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

A week after hearing a doctor’s diagnosis that 5-year-old Haleigh might not live another three months because of her relentless seizures, Haleigh Cox and her family packed up and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado to get a form of medical marijuana that wasn’t available in Georgia.

In this story

  • Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signs a medical marijuana bill
  • The bill is inspired by Haleigh Cox, a 5-year-old whose seizures threatened her life

“Every time she smiled I knew we did the right thing, because we hadn’t seen her smile in three years,” Janea Cox said. “Now she’s thriving, she’s healthy, she’s happy, and they’re absolutely shocked at the difference. So I think we’ve turned some nonbelievers into believers of cannabis oil.”

For Cox, it’s a blessing “to be able to come back home, and with Haleigh’s medicine, it’s done wonders for her — going from 200-plus seizures a day and on her deathbed to a smiling, happy girl who says words now and looks us in the eye and lets us know she’s in there.”

She added, “Colorado has been good to us, but Georgia’s home. Georgia’s definitely home.”


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