A Long Road, Now Even Longer


Commerce, GA – Failed legislation crushed the hopes of one family in Commerce, who desperately needed HB 885, or the medical marijuana bill, to pass. But it didn’t happen, and now the family is having to move to Colorado to get treatment for their son, Tripp, who suffers from chronic seizures.

“It’s been a really long long long road,” says Laura Oliver, Tripp’s mother. She had high hopes for HB 885 but when that didn’t pass, she had to think of something else. “It was a really bad day. It was a huge letdown,” she says. Her son has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures. His development has been stunted because of it, and Oliver wants to try to make the seizures stop. Cannabis oil is available in Colorado and almost was in Georgia until the last few days of the legislative session. Oliver says the oil will be the 16th drug she will try to help her son. She has seen it work with many others like Tripp.

Tripp likes the same things as any other boy. He likes to color, play trains, and run around. But, Oliver says she has to hold him back from the things he likes to do because of his disease. She says getting this drug could help him be a more normal little boy. “He might be able to go run outside and play.”

Oliver says this is the first drug in five years where she feels it might actually work. “If we can make the seizures less, try to get him off the drugs that he’s on then he also has a better chance developmentally of having the most productive live that he can have,” she says.

They will move the 1,400 miles to Colorado within the next month and will stay there as long as they have to. They are going to keep their house in Commerce in the hopes that by this time next year, they will be able to come home. “So we’re hoping, it’s kind of like a last ditch effort,” she says.

Alexa Knowles, reporting.


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