Medical marijuana clinical trial is family's only hope - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Medical marijuana clinical trial is family's only hope

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Children in Georgia who suffer from seizures may be able to seek treatment using medical marijuana despite the bill failing in the Georgia legislature last month.

Governor Nathan Deal announced this week he is working with the Food and Drug Administration on how the state can start clinical trials with cannabis oil to help children who suffer from epileptic disorders.

WTOC's Elizabeth Rawlins spoke to a Richmond Hill family who says they are praying their son will be able to be a part of these trials.

"We are desperate to have other treatments and medicines that would help him," said Ashley Boland.  

Boland's son Tanner is 11 years old but has been battling seizures most of his life.  At four months old he was diagnosed with a brain disorder known as ‘smooth brain.'

"So he has not developed mentally beyond four months," said Boland. "So he depends on us for everything."

Boland says Tanner has a seizer about every other hour, despite brain surgery and taking five medications a day. They have exhausted all of their options, except for medical marijuana.

"I spoke with the doctor and he said that he would certainly be a candidate," said Boland.  

Tanner sees specialists at Georgia Regents University Medical Center in Augusta, the same place Governor Deal announced they will start clinical trials.

"It has renewed hope that we didn't have three weeks ago," said Boland.

She says Tanner has already lived longer than doctors expected and says this treatment could prolong his life even more.

"He takes so many medications," said Boland. "He has to have blood work done and his enzymes checked in his liver every other month just because of what the current medications are doing to his body."

She says they have no way of knowing how Tanner's body will respond to this type of treatment unless they try. Now they are praying to be a part of this clinical trial that was not an option before.

"I'm hoping this would be somewhat of a natural approach and help him relax and just keep them at bay," said Boland.

Boland says she has already called his doctor at GRU and is waiting to hear back about the requirements of the trial and whether Tanner will be eligible to participate.

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