Day at the Capitol
Today at the Capitol we had one goal in mind, to lobby to our Senators and plead for their support of HB1 to be voted on as it is, not the Senate’s version SB185. SB185 is not an acceptable solution to the problem that exists here in Georgia. It would only support a clinical trial, for 50-100 epilepsy patients under the age of 18. HB1 would decriminalize the possession of CBD oil with a THC level at 5% or less, provide access to treatment for all ages and 9 conditions would qualify, including epilepsy/seizure disorders, cancer, ALS, MS, Mitochondrial Disease, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Sickle Cell Anemia. SB185 does not hold any immediate answers.
While at the Capitol, we were able to speak with several Senators and ask for their support. While the bill is still new to the Senate and they are currently in the process of learning more about HB1 and what their individual stance may be, we wanted the opportunity to express the true need for this bill now. We were able to speak with Senators Unterman, H. Hill, J. Hill, Fort, Orrock, Albers, H. Jones and Crane. We were pleased to hear that most would consider taking to time to truly understand the importance of HB1 and Senator Unterman mentioned finding a way to combine both HB1 and SB185 to appease all parties. We hope that these Senators will keep their word and encourage the entire Senate to educate themselves as well.
After meeting with the Senators, we attended a press conference that was well represented by all 9 conditions HB1 would effect. Each person who spoke had a direct connection to someone who HB1 would help – their child, themselves, their spouse, their parent – and the importance of this bill rang clear with their words. A similar road block was met last year when this bill hit the Senate, today it was expressed time and time again that we cannot afford to wait any longer. There are families split, living in Georgia and Colorado so that patients can get the treatment they need, the treatment that is working for them. These families want to come home and they want to be able to continue this treatment without fear of prosecution. EFGA Board President, Bonnie Leadbetter, was one of the speakers today at the press conference. Her main point was that if 84% of Georgians are for CBD oil, why is our Senate opposed? 84% equate to about 8 million Georgians, 8 million Georgians who voted these Senators into office. The press conference ended with State Representative Allen Peake, sponsor of HB1, reiterating the importance of this bill and the access to medicine for all patients, all ages, effected by all conditions.
The fight is not over. We still need your support in asking your Senators to vote HB1 as is. Please continue to reach out to your Senator for their support of this bill. We would like to express our appreciation to Georgia’s Hope for putting these events in place today, the Cloud family for their tremendous efforts in this fight, State Representative Allen Peake for his time and efforts in making a wonderful bill that we can all be proud of, and to the everyone who came out to show their support!