Athens, GA – Governor Nathan Deal said at an Athens GOP meeting that he is “exploring” options to do clinical trials with medical marijuana or cannabis oil. That is good news for family’s like Laura Oliver’s, whose son, Tripp, has chronic seizures.

The Governor made sure to watch his words: “I have to be very careful what I say here,” he says. Laura Oliver watched the Governor give his speech, needing help and expecting answers. Oliver says, “You can’t tell really how sick he is and how much care he actually needs.” Oliver is hoping Governor Deal can be that help.

The Governor answered the question: Can you give us more information on your plans for medical marijuana? The answer: yes, possibly with controlled clinical trials. “[Could] have individuals who have children that they want to receive the product be a part of this test, of this experiment, to see if it works…they will be monitored, the results good or bad will be consolidated and reported so that we can make a logical judgement at some point in the future,” says Deal.

Oliver says something has to happen, either on the state level or the federal level. She feels like there is too much evidence not to. We reported last week that the Oliver family is moving to Colorado Springs to get cannabis oil for Tripp, which Oliver says has been working for other kids.

A clinical researcher at the UGA Augusta Campus, Margorie Phillips, says a clinical trial is the answer to solving this problem. She says she would only do the trial, like Deal says, in a very controlled environment. “I would welcome this under controlled circumstances, where we knew the product coming in was of good quality and it was being done under federal oversight,” she says. Phillips says it could happen in as little as three months or up to a year to get started. Kids with seizures would be a part of the experiment and would receive treatments in the trial.

Oliver says this is the first time in five years where she thought a drug “had some promise.” For now, this is a step in the right direction for Tripp, but there is a lot of work still to do.

Alexa Knowles, reporting.

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