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Paulding father tells of need for legalizing marijuana derivative, helping daughter
by Tom Spigolon
January 30, 2014 03:37 PM | 4499 views | 2 2 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ten-year-old north Paulding resident Sydney Wages is an epileptic whose seizures began at 4 months old. They have lasted up to 45 minutes at a time, said father, Jimmy “J-Bo” Wages.

“It’s not been a good deal with us,” he said.

However, he has ordered the marijuana derivative, cannabidiol, from a Colorado distributor at a cost of $840 monthly since September. What had been two to three days between seizures increased to nine days between them and allowed a formerly non-verbal child to begin producing sounds, he said.

“We’re starting to get our child back,” Wages said. “That’s our goal, to have her say, ‘Daddy, I love you.’”

District 67 State Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville, is among five co-sponsors of House Bill 885 to legalize the medicine in Georgia. Gravley's district includes Douglas and Paulding counties.

District 141 State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is sponsoring the legislation, which was introduced Tuesday. Other co-sponsors include District 133 State Rep. John Pezold, R-Fortson; District 166 State Rep. Ben Watson, R-Savannah; District 120 State Rep. Mickey Channell, R-Greensboro; District 59 State Rep. Margaret Kaiser, D-Atlanta; and District 33 State Rep. Tom McCall, R-Elberton.

Channell is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, while McCall chairs the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.

Gravley said legislative supporters are “in lockstep in a unified front” on introducing a bill that would only allow cannabidiol oil for specific medical conditions such as Dravet Syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy characterized by seizures which halt a child’s normal development.

“Their cognitive thinking is coming back to them. These kids are in a vegetative state almost, because they’re seizing for so long,” he said. “Each time a seizure happens, it damages the brain. You’ve got kids who have died and are on the way to getting there.”

Gravley said the bill would allow the sale of the oil, which is a non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant.

Gravley said the bill would be tightly worded to only allow the part of the plant used to make the beneficial oil. Physicians would regulate who receives the medicine.

“The three of us 100 percent disagree with the legalization of recreational marijuana,” Gravley said.

Two area families have approached Gravley about supporting legislation, including the Wages family and the south Paulding parents of 10-year-old Caden Clark, who has a severe seizure disorder.

Caden and his mother have moved to Colorado to have access to the medicine, while his father still resides in Paulding to keep his job and accompanying medical benefits.

Sydney Wages is a special needs student at Burnt Hickory Elementary School. She also suffers from autism and is non-verbal. She wears a helmet to school to guard against falls and has the use of a “seizure” dog to assist her, her father said.

Wages, a county government building inspector, has been forced to tap into his retirement funds to buy the capsules.

He is hoping that, with legalization, he can find a physician who will prescribe it so his insurance provider will cover the cost.

“God put this plant here for a reason,” he said. “It wasn’t for recreational use.”

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Brian Kelly
|
February 02, 2014
When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let's have the compassion to allow them to have it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Support Medical Marijuana Now!

[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane. — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, Federal Foolishness and Marijuana, editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications. — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate. — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision. — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses' Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine. — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use. — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis, 1995

When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug. — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

[The LFA] urges Congress and the President to enact legislation to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients in need … [and] urges the US Public Health Service to allow limited access to medicinal marijuana by promptly reopening the Investigational New Drug compassionate access program to new applicants. — Lymphoma Foundation of America, January 20, 1997
Jim wages
|
January 30, 2014
Thank you for helping in raising awareness of epilepsy and to help clear up the Medicinal Cannibis doses. I thank you as well as my family along with Miss Sydney..
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