GRU Augusta one step closer to medical marijuana study

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Sept.r 4, 2014

(MGN Online)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A doctor at GRU Augusta says they are one step closer to helping sick kids with medical Marijuana.

One local mom tells News 12 that help can't come soon enough.

Her 7-year-old, Windsor Blair, has epilepsy and it's so bad her breathing has stopped at times, but the medicine that some say could help her is illegal right now and it could be months before anything changes.

It's a daily chore 7-year-old Blair dreads.

"Right now we are on three medications twice a day, but they are not controlling them," said Tiffany Williams, Windsor Blair's mother.

The smiling 2nd grader is facing a growing problem kids across America are dealing with.

"She has partial complex seizures. She has intractable epilepsy," she told News 12.

Williams says up to 20 seizures can hit her little girl in a single day and since her medicine isn't working she's desperate for something that will.

"She can foam at the mouth. Her limbs will jerk. Her eyes roll to the back of her head. She has stopped breathing several times," she said.

Dr. Michael Diamond is leading the medical marijuana study at GRU Augusta backed by Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal.

"I think we've made significant progress since that time," Dr. Diamond told News 12.

In April the search began for a supplier of cannabis oil. It's taken from a certain kind of marijuana plant that has extremely low levels of THC, the chemical that gets you high.

"A company that's based in the UK that produces Cannabidiol or CBD which would be the agent we will be wanting to give to these children," said Dr. Diamond.

GW Pharmaceuticals and the university are working on a protocol for the study. Once complete the FDA, DEA, and an additional review board can accept, deny, or change it.

"The best thing would be if what we submit they accept outright, but the likely hood of that is probably not too high," he said.

Trials could start in December, but Dr. Diamond admits he could be overly optimistic. Meanwhile a hurting mother and child are holding on to hope.

"If you're in my situation you'll do anything to help them. You'll do anything," Williams told News 12.

Dr. Diamond says he wants GRU Augusta to be the first one to do it right instead of the first one to do it. There final protocol should be sent in to the fed's in a few weeks.

You can't sign up for the study yet, but you can put your name on a list of potentials. Just reach out to Dr. Park with GRU Augusta at 706-721-4581.

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