HB 1 supporters urging Senate to not change medical marijuana legislation

ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Supporters of House Bill 1 met under the Gold Dome Thursday to urge lawmakers to not change the medical marijuana legislation.

The families say the Senate needs to keep the bill the way it is currently written. HB 1 legalizes cannabis oil to help treat people with nine qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, seizures, and sickle cell disease. Supporters say this bill will help thousands of Georgians, while the Senate’s version will only help a handful.

"We want a better quality of life for everybody in the state of Georgia and if there is something out there that can help with that, why are we having such trouble getting it passed?" Valerie Weaver said. Her seven-year-old son, Preston, suffers from seizures and is the first patient to participate in the state’s Epidiolex clinical trials.

Senate Bill 185 would set up a five-year clinical study of a marijuana extract for people under 21 with epilepsy.

A Senate committee is reviewing HB 1 Thursday. Lawmakers hope to come up with a compromise to help bring medical refugees who left the state seeking treatment back home.

41NBC will have more on the medical marijuana debate tonight during the 41NBC News at 6.