Medical marijuana bill gains another major supporter

One of Georgia’s leading pediatric hospital systems on Tuesday gave measured support to a plan to legalize medical marijuana to treat seizure disorders.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said it can support a plan by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, if it mandates that cannabis oil is available only as part of an Institutional Review Board-approved clinical study; if there is sufficient control of the manufacture and distribution of the product and if safety measures are established, according to a statement released to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Peake told the AJC that his bill, which he hopes to introduce this week, will meet those standards.

In its statement, Children’s said “there has not been enough evidence-based research around the use of (cannabis oil) studying its safety and tolerability in children with seizure disorders and thus should not be used generally.”

The hospital system goes on to say, however, that it is “in support of legislation that would allow clinical research by academic institutions to further investigate this compound for the treatment of intractable seizures in children.”

The Medical Association of Georgia, the state’s largest professional group of physicians, endorsed Peake’s plan Monday.