UPDATE: First patient receives cannabis oil at GRU

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UPDATE: News 12 First at Five/ Dec. 30 2014

AUGUSTA, GA.-- A big step forward in the use of medical marijuana, and Augusta is front and center. A local seven year old with a severe seizure disorder is the first person in Georgia to get treatments of cannabis oil.

The clinical trial started Tuesday. Preston Weaver got his first dose of the oil, a second child will be getting the same medication within a couple of weeks.

Preston's mom is hoping this drug is the miracle she's been praying for, not just for her son, but for hundreds of kids like him.

Preston has between 60 and 80 seizures a day. They've tried dozens of different drugs, but nothing helps.

"There's just nothing you can do but hold him and tell him it's going to be ok. And hope and pray every time that he comes out of it," said Valerie Weaver when we first interviewed her about her son back in July.

But, Tuesday, there was a lot more hope in Weaver's voice. Tuesday, her son began the cannabis oil trial at GRU. Researchers hope the oil will drastically reduce Preston's seizures.

"This is the first day of the rest of his life. I'm just completely overjoyed he was chosen to get this. We're just completely blessed," said Weaver.

Preston is starting out with a very small dosage, about .6 cc's twice a day.

"Once a week, we'll increase it, until we get to the therapeutic dose. Then we'll level off that. It may take a couple of months before we get to that level, it just depends on how well he handles it," said Weaver.

Time will tell how the drug will change Preston's symptoms, but his mom is hopeful after talking with families already using the oil in Colorado.

"The term all these parents keep telling me is their children 'wake up.' After 6 years, 8, 10 years they finally meet their children for the first time ever. Their children just wake up like they've been in a fog," said Weaver.

But, even though she's grateful her son was chosen for this study, she says the fight is not over.

"It's about all these children in the state of Georgia that could benefit from this, and there's absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be able to get this medication also," said Weaver.

If you have a child with severe seizures that are hard to treat, they may be eligible for a second trial that just got FDA approval. GRU is looking for 50 more kids to treat in that study that starts next month. Contact Dr. Yong Park at 706-721-3371 if you're interested.

Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Two patients have been approved to receive marijuana oil treatment trials at Georgia Regents University.

The first person to receive the very first dose of cannabis oil in Georgia is Preston Weaver. He was given the first dose this around 11:30 a.m.

"This is the first day of the rest of his life", said Preston's mom, Valerie Weaver.

Preston is a 7-year-old who suffers from 60-80 seizures a day.

The two clinical trials are aimed at treating children with medication-resistant epilepsy with cannabidiol.

Officials are meeting with the families of those patients to talk about the process and how the treatment will work.

The first process is a two-person compassionate use protocol that received authorization from both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The second will allow for an expanded 50-person trial, initiated at GRU with planned expansion to Savannah and Atlanta.

Stay with News 12 for updates.



Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) -- A state lawmaker sponsoring a bill that would allow limited use of medical cannabis in Georgia says he hopes to have specifics by Christmas.

Republican Rep. Allen Peake says he's focused on bringing Georgia families with children who have seizure disorders home from other states that allow the use of cannabidiol.

A study committee that traveled the state this summer holding hearings on the issue wrapped up its work on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

It's clear that the issue still is divisive and lawmakers have differing opinions on the best solution. Shortly after Peake pre-filed his bill, Democratic state Sen. Curt Thompson filed a bill allowing broader use of medical marijuana and a separate resolution to legalize the drug by amending the state Constitution.

(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)