By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Supporters of the bill that would make medical marijuana legal in Tennessee met Saturday to discuss how to move the legislation forward.
The Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act would allow patients with specific medical conditions access to the substance as part of their treatment.
Some East Tennessee families say it is the only option they have left.
Dozens gathered Saturday for the discussion in Knoxville, with families like the Wrights sharing why they are desperately asking for state lawmakers to pass the Koozer-Kuhn legislation.
11-year-old Corbin Wright has chronic epilepsy.
His condition is so severe, it causes him to have as many as 100 seizures a day, some lasting up to an hour.
"They just kept coming. He probably had close to 100 just yesterday afternoon to where we're just holding him and trying to help him be comfortable," said Ginger Wright, Corbin's mother, who also helped organize the medical cannabis discussion.
Corbin has been on 18 different medications, but nothing has helped.
That's why the Wright's are one of many in East Tennessee pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana.
Ginger Wright says evidence from other states that already have medical marijuana programs shows that it could either stop or dramatically reduce the number of Corbin's seizures.
Wright says Corbin could receive the cannabis in oil form.
"To go from 100 or 200 a day to 2 a day, or the reports we're hearing of 3 a day or 3 a month, we could deal with that," said Wright.
The Koozer-Kuhn bill is extremely restrictive.
It would only make medical marijuana available to patients who have one of fourteen serious medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and epilepsy.
"Obtaining a substance that is safe, effective, reliable and inexpensive," said Bernie Ellis, the writer of the Koozer-Kuhn bill.
Ellis says he's pleased with the progress the bill has made, even just this week, with state lawmakers.
"It's an uphill battle, but we're feeling encouraged by the level of support we're getting statewide," said Ellis.
It's an uphill battle that people like the Wright family say has to be fought.
At the meeting, they encouraged supporters to write, call and visit state lawmakers, asking for their support of the bill.
"As long as he's having a seizure, I have to keep fighting for it. I can't stop until his seizures stop," said Wright.
Ellis helped present the Koozer-Kuhn bill (HB1385 and SB2451) to the House Health Committee last Wednesday.
This week, he will bring with before the Health Sub-committee.
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