Atlanta Tea Party leader backs medical marijuana bill

Julianne Thompson, a Georgia-based Tea Party leader, announced support HB 885, a measure that would authorize the use of medical marijuana for research purposes.

“Originally I was shocked and frightened of the mention of any type of marijuana in Georgia. I am both a fiscal and a social conservative and have always been and remain opposed to any legalization of recreational drug use of any kind,” said Thompson in a statement. “The story of Haleigh Cox and countless other children like her are the reason I left behind my preconceived notions when it came to the word ‘Cannibas’ and actually looked at the effectiveness of the treatment behind the proposal.”

“The parents of these children will tell you they are not receiving effective treatment. They rarely get to even see their child’s personality or even a smile, because they are so heavily drugged with multiple, ineffective pharmaceuticals that do nothing to alleviate symptoms and sometimes cause more harm than good,” she said, pointing to an unnamed study which found that the “side effects from legal pharmaceuticals as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.”

Thompson is the co-chair of the Atlanta Tea Party, one of the grassroots groups that came about in 2009. The month of two says that she’s glad that she doesn’t have to make the same sort of decisions that the parents of Haleigh Cox and others have to make. But she cited a family member’s struggle with cancer as part of her evolution on medical marijuana.

“In July 2012, my sister died, not of the actual cancer she was diagnosed with, but from the side effects the chemo had perpetrated on her body,” said Thompson. “At that point I knew there had to be a better way to treat disease, a way that does not violate that we must first do no harm, and while we still search for cures and treatments for diseases that plague mankind, let us remember that the Bible says God gave us the leaf for medicine.”

“This oil-based treatment made from medical Cannibas is helping children across the country to be able to live a more normal life, helping them smile again. How can we deny Georgia children the right to safe and effective treatment,” she said. “Please join me in support of HB 885, and tell Georgia families they have hope!”

HB 885, dubbed “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” is currently in the House Health and Human Services Committee. Recent polls have found that anywhere from 51% to 54% of Georgia voters back medical marijuana. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta expressed support for legislation that would allow further research of the benefits of cannabis oil.

[UPDATE] Though not included in the statement, Thompson has let us know that Kay Godwin also supports Haleigh’s Hope Act.


  1. Three Jack says:

    “Originally I was shocked and frightened of the mention of any type of marijuana in Georgia.” Julianne, marijuana in all types has been prevalant in GA for many years. In fact, many folks use it to offset side effects of chemo despite you and the government wanting to find their activities to be illegal.

    Glad to see you jumped on the bandwagon because all of a sudden it’s “about the children”. But your statement indicating conservative beliefs in one sentence while opposing decriminalization in the next shows just how far you are from being either conservative or understanding the benefits marijuana provides.

  2. PegM says:

    I’m not prepared to say “yea” or “nay” yet. However, there have been no clinical trials to prove the veracity of the claims that cannabis provides relief from some diseases. Doctors have not been prescribing this treatment, but rather folks are using it based on urban myths. For me, the jury is still out until I hear about some convincing science.

    • Raleigh says:

      “Clinical trials” by that you mean clinical trials like Vioxx with significantly increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. How about Baycol which causes a debilitating muscle ailment that can be fatal which is linked to 31 reported deaths. It was yanked off the market in the U.S. in 2001. Next is Cylert – for ADHD pulled off the U.S. market in 2005 after the FDA discovered 13 cases of liver failure. Cylert patients could have as much as a 25 percent higher rate of liver failure compared to the general population. This list is long….. How about that for convincing science.

  3. Jon Lester says:

    Maybe after we get some level of legal medical marijuana, we can have a conversation about why ours is the only First World country that bans industrial (also non-psychoactive) hemp production, even though there’s a whole long list of uses and benefits that would come from it.

  4. Noway says:

    I agree, John. Ain’t no reason this stuff isn’t legal, both the getting-high kind and the industrial kind you mentioned. I’d say follow-the-money. Isn’t that the way it always is? From unconstitutional seizure laws, the corrections industry, the law enforcement industry, the snooping gov’t industry. If drugs were legal, this drug specifically, we wouldn’t need such a militaristic cadre of cops, prisons busting at the seems with non-violent offenders, gov’t meddling with our banking practices and all the criminals making swimming pools full of cash on a daily basis. It’s all BS. When they outlaw alcohol too, the “drug” that kills more than all other vices combined, come back and talk, otherwise, shut up.

  5. Julianne Thompson says:

    Peg M, I understand your reservations, but does FDA approval really ease your mind about any substance? All of the drugs they give children with severe seizure disorder (drugs that keep them almost comatose, drugs that destroy their livers and kidneys) are all FDA approved “legal” substances. The chemo my sister took was given to her by nurses with led vests and masks given in a bag with a skull and crossbones on it. That poison is an approved drug and it didn’t do anything to help her, it killed her much sooner than cancer. I watch commercial after commercial for psoriasis, restless leg syndrome, etc, and every single commercial has one thing in common, the side effects are always worse than the condition the drug treats…these are all FDA approved drugs. I spoke to two physicians when Deborah was still alive trying to get into a clinical trial, and both doctors told me the FDA is not interested in a cure for cancer. Big pharma is a multi-billion dollar industry and there is no money in a cure.
    Cannabis is natural substance (not a synthetic chemical) and there are hundreds of years of information on it’s use for seizures. I had no idea the medical community had the research. Please watch this short video and read the specifics of the bill, and I think you will understand why I and many, many others support it and I think you will support it too.

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