Holly Springs mom, state rep. hopeful for success of medical marijuana bill
by Joshua Sharpe
February 28, 2014 04:00 AM | 1855 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Corey Lowe is trying to sway legislators to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for her daughter, Victoria, who suffers from seizures caused by mitochondrial disease. ‘I’m always trying to find something to help her.’ Lowe said. ‘We’re not some potheads … trying to get our daughter stoned.’ Above: Corey reads a book to her daughter with the company of Choco, the family’s trained seizure dog. <br>Staff/Todd Hull
Corey Lowe is trying to sway legislators to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for her daughter, Victoria, who suffers from seizures caused by mitochondrial disease. ‘I’m always trying to find something to help her.’ Lowe said. ‘We’re not some potheads … trying to get our daughter stoned.’ Above: Corey reads a book to her daughter with the company of Choco, the family’s trained seizure dog.
Staff/Todd Hull
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Never in her life did Corey Lowe think her native Georgia would even consider allowing medical marijuana, but now she’s hopeful that lawmakers have heard her pleas for a chance to help her improve her child’s life with the drug.

The Holly Springs resident said she was ecstatic Wednesday after a bill allowing non-psychoactive cannabis oil to treat seizure patients got unanimous approval in a state House committee and moved one step closer to a vote on the floor.

“It is amazing,” said Lowe, whose 12-year-old daughter Victoria has had chronic seizures for nearly her whole life. “People started hearing about it, hearing the truth that it’s not medical marijuana in the sense of marijuana recreationally. Once people educate themselves, including lawmakers, including parents, including doctors, and they start looking at the facts, (they open up).”

Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who authored House Bill 885, said he was hopeful the House would take a vote Monday, sending the measure to the state Senate for final approval.

“I feel optimistic,” Peake said Thursday. “I think the unanimous vote out of the committee (says) that my colleagues understand the importance of the option for these families.”

Both Peake and Lowe clarified that the oil being considered is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t intoxicate the user.

Peake said the bill would allow academic medical institutions to cultivate and administer the oil to chronic seizure patients in clinic trials but would not require any institution to run such a trial.

“It would be managed by doctors,” he added. “And it would be very well-regulated.”

Peake has in recent weeks been at the forefront of the fast-moving push to legalize medical marijuana in the state during the 2014 legislative session, as parents like Lowe spurred the movement on. But, like Lowe, Peake hadn’t always been as supportive of the drug until he did more research and talked to families who have seen promising results in children with seizures.

One constituent reached out to the Macon representative after moving to Colorado, where families from all over the country have flocked recently to take advantage of the state’s loose stance on marijuana.

Peake said when he began to speak with families like that, it was “pretty much a 180 for me.”

The Holly Springs mother says she had a similar experience after speaking with a family from Marietta, who moved to Colorado to get their son treatment for his seizures and saw drastic results with the oil.

“I want that for my child without having to leave my home,” Lowe said. “All we’re asking for is an option, a choice. We want that choice, that freedom, without having to move to Colorado, because some of us don’t have the resources to move to Colorado.”

Peake said parents like Lowe have helped the movement gain momentum by reaching out to lawmakers tirelessly to express their support.

Lowe said it hasn’t been easy, but many parents seem to think she’s doing the right thing.

“Families from all over Georgia are reaching out and saying, ‘Thank you for fighting for my child,’” she said. “I don’t even know these people, but they have a sick kid just as I do. And they want another option, because we’ve tried all the options and they haven’t worked.”

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