Governor McCrory says he will sign into law a bill that will legalize a form of medical marijuana for seizure sufferers.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Some families in North Carolina are applauding state lawmakers after passing a groundbreaking bill Thursday. Governor Pat McCrory says he plans to sign into law a bill that allows for medical use of cannabidiol oil for the treatment of seizures disorders, particularly those that seem to afflict children. Cannabidiol oil is derived from a compound that is found in the marijuana plant.
One mom pleased with the outcome is Liz Gorman, originally of Raleigh. "I'm still a little bit in shock just because we've been working toward it for so long."
You'll remember Liz and her daughter Maddie moved from North Carolina to Colorado six months ago to get much-needed treatment for Maddie's severe epilepsy. They've already seen a lot of success.
"She just continues to learn, she really is learning," said Gorman. "She is retaining information so when she learns something new now, she keeps it and we move forward. That's something we hadn't seen for years."
We introduced you to the Gormans in November when Maddie was having hundreds of seizures a day. A month later, Liz made the tough choice to move to Colorado to get access to a form of hemp oil meant to prevent seizures. Those daily seizures are now down to 5 to 15.
Meantime, Gorman has been on a mission with other families to convince state lawmakers here to pass a bill allowing them to give hemp oil to their children. The House and Senate passed the bill. With the Governor's signature, they'll now be able to do that.
"It really restores my faith in government and the fact that these people really cared about our families and our stories," said Gorman.
Once the bill becomes law, Liz says she's hoping to bring her family back to North Carolina. "We've already spoken to Maddie's neurologist at Duke and he has said that he is willing to treat her with this and we are looking forward to making that happen and hopefully soon."
Maddie's father still lives in North Carolina because of his job. The trio hopes to be reunited soon.
Preston Watson's family is also keeping a close eye on the bill. For 12 years, the boy's family has tried to find a cure for Preston's daily seizures. This week, the Watsons are moving to Colorado for the promise of some immediate relief for Preston.
"We were at the end of our rope where the neurologist was saying I don't know what else we can do, we can't go up on your meds," said Ana Watson, Preston's mother. "We were at a still point, we couldn't do anything else so this is kind of our last resort our only hope."
Preston's mom tells me they're still moving to Colorado because the hemp oil approved by state lawmakers in North Carolina isn't strong enough to help her son. She says they'll come back if the bill is widened to include more powerful hemp oil.
When Governor McCrory signs the bill into law, parts of it will go into effect immediately -- the rest by October 1st.