TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - After two years of advocating for the use of the medical cannabis oil in Georgia, a Troup County father says the treatment has positive effects on his 8-year-old son with autism.
However, Dale Jackson says he is still fighting to advance the legislation in the state.
Lawmakers agreed in 2015 to pass the usage of cannabis oil treatment, but people are still not able to make the oil in Georgia.
Jackson has been giving his son Colin the cannabis oil to help with all the complications of autism since March.
His son can't speak, but using the oil twice a day has helped him to make advancements in his therapies and sensory skills such as eye contact, feeding himself, and being in large crowds.
"I still long for the day to hear him say, 'I love you Dad!' I know that day will come," Dale said. "But when I come home from work and he's in the floor playing and he gets up cause he recognizes I walked in the room, and he walks across the room and he gives me a big hug, he's saying 'I love you daddy.' He just hadn't said it with his lips yet."
Before cannabis oil, the active 8-year-old was only going to school part-time but now he is able to stay all day. Colin spends a lot of time at this grandmother's house.
Nan Jackson says she also seen a great improvement in Colin since starting the cannabis oil, saying he laughs and plays more because of the treatment.
"He's always be a fairly happy child, but now when he gets to laughing it's the most beautiful thing you have ever heard," Nan said. "He laughs at more things now. Even changing his diaper can be a laughing matter, and he will interact with you."
Dale says he is working with Georgia Representative Allen Peake to prepare legislation for the 2017 session to get cultivation passed.
Their number one focus is to list autism as one of the medical conditions to the current bill.
"This is not just about me and my son," Dale said. "I just happen to know what's it like to have an autistic parent and know the struggle. My main drive is to get the word out to other autistic parents to let them know this is a possible solution. No one is saying it's a cure, but from my own personal experiences, it's far better from the other pharmaceuticals drug out there."
"I trust Dale to not do anything to jeopardize his family and I know he has gone out on a limb for other people. I'm proud of that. I'm proud that he is not just seeking to help Colin," said Nan.
Right now the medical cannabis oil is legal for use in the state of Georgia for people who suffer from eight conditions, including cancer, ALS, sickle cell, and Parkinson's disease.
Revisions to the controversial medical cannabis expansion bill died in the Georgia state senate in March, hoping to extend legal usage to those with autism, PTSD, AIDS, and terminal illnesses.
Across state lines in Alabama, Governor Bentley signed a bill into law in May legalizing the possession of medicinal marijuana oil for medical purposes.
Watch the full interviews with Dale Jackson and his mother Nan Jackson in the clips above.