Leesburg, Georgia | Chance Henry is a 12-year-old boy living in Leesburg, Georgia, about 200 miles south of Atlanta. He began having seizures soon after he was born, around the six week mark. At years old, Chances mother estimates he has suffered from around 3,000 to 4,000 seizures in his life. Frustrated with expensive and ineffective medicines, Chase and his mother are looking to non-psychoactive CBD oil derived from the cannabis plant for treatment.
However, in the state of Georgia, the medicine that could help to improve Chance’s life remains illegal. Just this week Governor Nathan Deal all but threw away a proposed medical marijuana bill in the state. Rep. Allen Peake will be establishing a new bill that would allow possession of CBD oil in the future; that is if residents had a way to legally grow cannabis and extract the oils.
For now, Chance’s only option for legal treatment is the slew of up to 15 prescription pills he takes per day. His mother Traci is working furiously find a way for Chance to access the CBD oil that he desperately needs. Traci says, “It’s very hard, because I know the side effects to them. I don’t even see sometimes how he functions, but he’s always smiling, he’s a loving child.”
Chance’s mother says that his worst day resulted in 26 seizures within a 24 hour period. “The side effects are dizziness, nausea. We have to have him tested yearly for liver damage, kidney damage. And with the cannabis oil there are no side effects,” Traci says.
She began researching the life-saving cannabis oil around 6 months ago and is still waiting for the medicine. “I just never thought it was attainable. I didn’t know until I really started researching that in 24 states, it’s legal.” Traci isn’t alone in her search for a treatment, as many as 150,000 residents in the state are afflicted by epilepsy.
Traci and Chance have a long road ahead of them to pass this much needed, life-saving legislation. Support is growing in the state for access to the non-psychoactive CBD oil, but legislation is slow to catch up. Meanwhile organizations like Georgia Hope are doing what they can to increase exposure to the issue. Measures to help Chance and other children like him are will within reach, but it’s up to lawmakers use compassion and reason to pass new legislation.
If you’re a Georgia resident and would like to make a difference, you can email Governor Nathan Deal here.
Modesto, CA | Modesto parents stood up this week to fight for access to the medical marijuana that they use in the treatment of their epileptic children. On Monday evening the Modesto City Council opened a dialogue discussing restrictions for growing medical marijuana. Proposed rules would have restricted parents who have children from growing at home, as well as limiting medical marijuana gardens to secure indoor grows in single-family dwellings.
This posed some serious problems for families who depend on this medicine to treat their ailing children. The non-psychoactive CBD that parents extract from the plants is much cheaper to produce at home. Depending on stores and other caretakers can be costly.
Katharine Reynolds has an 18-month-old-son, Case, who suffers from a rare disorder called 5Q14.3 Microdeletion Syndrome. Her family depends on their CBD oil to reduce her son’s seizures hundreds of seizures per day, mitigate pain, maintain his quality of life. Reynolds told Fox News 40 that, “Abusing any drug is not right, but when you’re not abusing them and you’re using them to help your children, I think that’s a totally different thing.”
“He actually responds to our voice now, and he’s just much more at peace” – Katharine Reynolds
The Reynolds family doesn’t produce their own CBD oil, citing the difficulty in growing the medicine. Case’s father Mike Reynolds makes the hour-and-a-half drive to Oakland once a month to buy the medicine. Mike says, “If you would have seen him a year ago, he was a completely different kid.” For the Reynolds family, the drive over to Oakland is well worth it, but some parents want to be able to produce the medicine at home.
Mike Reynolds said Monday, “I get that there’s people abusing it, I get that there’s problems but at the same time, there are people that really don’t. I would say we’re probably the polar opposite of what you think about cannabis.”
Luckily, Modesto City Council declined the proposed ordinance citing families such as the Reynolds’ who would be adversely affected. Over 20 people attending the Monday night meeting to speak against the proposed restrictions.
Photo Credit: Fox 40
Back in November, Fox News 13 of Memphis, TN reported on a 3-year-old child that had exhausted her options in search of a treatment for her debilitating seizures. That is, except for one medicine that her family couldn’t get access to due to state and federal laws that block access to the medicine.
By age 3 Chloe had suffered from more than 75,000 seizures, affecting the development of muscles, coordination, and cognition. Suffering from around 100 seizures per day, doctors tried everything in the book to heal young Chloe, including multiple surgeries at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and 20 different types of medication. In November her family reported that she was taking 5 medications 3 times a day including medications like Methadone. One of the medications forced Chloe’s parents to sign a waiver due to a severe risk of blindness as a side effect.
Back in January Chloe’s grandmother, Gail Grauer, went in front of state legislators to ask for access to the non-psychoactive form of cannabis oil. Legislators soon passed a bill allowing clinical research from Vanderbilt University in conjunction with Tennessee Tech to grow and distribute the medicine to sick children in need. However, Federal regulations blocked this course of action putting Chloe and her family in a life-threatening bind.
In November, Chloe’s mother, Elizabeth Peden said, “You want to do anything, you would do anything, you would literally do anything to save the life of your child.” Her father Shea added, “One day we will be able to try it and we will be able to get those smiles and those little laughs that a lot of people to take for granted.” Tragically, that day never came for Chloe.
On December 10, Fox News Memphis reported that Chloe Grauer died waiting for the treatment she so desperately needed. Sadly, many parents around the country could be facing this life-threatening scenario with their hands tied by the Federal government. In the United States alone, around 3 million individuals suffer from epilepsy.
At the Federal level traction is picking up, but children who are dying for a cure can’t wait for the slow and politicized legislative process to creep along. In July, Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry introduced a bill that would allow legalize the non-psychoactive CBD oil at the national level. The bill, H.R.5226 – Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 has just begun to gain traction in Congress and will likely be subject to a vote in early 2015. So far there are a total of 38 cosponsors on the bill.
If you would like to take action you can find your district’s Representative here. Write your Congressional leaders and urge them to jump on board with the bill before another child’s life is shamelessly lost due to an inhumane and undignified Federal law.
via: Fox News 13
A new study, published earlier this week, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted by emergency room doctors at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. The study, which aimed to provide a balanced perspective for other states to look at when considering marijuana legalization, began on this first day of 2014 when recreational marijuana sales became legal in the state of Colorado.
The published report begins with a brief history of marijuana in the state of Colorado, starting with the legalization of medical marijuana in the year 2000. Also included in the report is both the expected and unexpected health system effects of legalization, the positive results of medical marijuana use in treating many debilitating medical conditions, and the challenges presented by marijuana edibles.
The study reports both the positives and negatives seen by the doctors in this emergency room. Dr. Andrew Monte, lead study author and toxicologist told The Denver Channel, “The poison is always in the dose. We have to understand in the right circumstances, marijuana and its components can be very beneficial. However it can also have risks as well.”
The study confirms what many other studies have relayed about the benefits medical marijuana has had on such medical conditions as epilepsy and inflammatory bowl disease, acknowledging the anti-inflammatory properties in cannabis. The beneficial role medical marijuana has played in replacing patient need for pain relieving pharmaceuticals, resulting in a decrease in opioid-related deaths, is also covered. Most importantly, marijuana legalization has opened the door for honest conversation and research.
The negatives acknowledged in the study seemed to center around ingestible forms of marijuana. Approximately 2,000 patients are admitted to the emergency room at the University of Colorado Aurora each week. Of those 2,000 patients, 1 or 2 people may be admitted for marijuana intoxication. People suffering from marijuana intoxication may demonstrate such symptoms as panic attacks and anxiety, public intoxication or vomiting. The study reports that the majority of marijuana intoxication cases were the result of consuming marijuana edibles. Cases like these, caused by inexperience and lack of marijuana edible education will likely increase in the very near future, but decrease over the long term, as more research and studies are completed to, ultimately, educate the public.
More cannabis research and clinical studies must be completed. At least this is a step in the direction of openness and honesty in regards to marijuana research. As Dr. Monte pointed out, “The take away is that there are both positives and negatives for marijuana legalization and liberalization.”