Ga. officials meet for first medical marijuana session

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ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- For the first time, committee members of the Peach State heartestimonies from presenters on medical marijuana, and why they feel it’s worth considering as apossible treatment in Georgia.

The Georgia Medical Cannabis Study Committee met at the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon withsupporters, and several individuals who prepared presentations on the hot topic. 

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) believes this moment gives senators and other representatives theopportunity to learn and gain more knowledge than they did before the bill he originally wrote failed topass in last year’s session. 

"We’ve all realized that there is a need for medical cannabis oil in our state particularly when it comes to helping children with intractable seizure disorders," says Peake. 

Activist and founder of the Georgia Campaign for Access Reform and Education (Georgia C.A.R.E.) James Bell tells 41NBC it’s important lawmakers understand it’s important to include suffering adults when they re-write the bill. 

Christina Cusack, 30, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis-an illness that weakens parts of her body-at a young age. She tried cannabis oil before, and says it relieved her, but the treatment would be more helpful if she could use it within her own state.

"It’s a fight. The other people that need it…they’re sick," Cusack says, "We’re all sick, but we’re here because we know this will help us." 

The committee members include: Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge), Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), Sen. Curt Thompson (D-Tucker), Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), Rep. Micah Gravley (D-Douglasville), and Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D-Atlanta).

Members plan to hold several other meetings throughout the year:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Mercer University
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Georgia Gwinnett State College
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Georgia Regents University
  • Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Georgia State Capitol 
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(478) 745-4141 Taylor Terrell joined the 41NBC news team in August 2013. Taylor was born in Atlanta, raised in Conyers, Georgia, and now welcomes Middle Georgia as her new home. She got her start in news at 41NBC as an intern in May 2013. Taylor’s passion to tell stories that matter landed her a full-time position as a multimedia journalist with the station. On the weekends, Taylor produces and anchors the Sunday night newscast at 11 p.m. Taylor graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations, with a minor in Journalism. She is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). When she’s not working hard to find Middle Georgia’s news, you can find Taylor cooking, traveling or spending time with close family and friends. She welcomes all ideas and stories. If you have any, let her know at tterrell@41nbc.com.