The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug down to Schedule II. The AAP is also said that medical marijuana should be available for children suffering from severe, debilitating, or life-threatening conditions.
The update to the AAP’s 2008 position came this morning and urged the DEA to remove marijuana from it’s list of Schedule I substances, where marijuana is accompanied by heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. By definition, the Schedule I classification of drugs says that the drugs have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Furthermore, the DEA says, “Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” This classification of marijuana has prevented years of medical research from taking place and now the AAP says it’s time for a change.
The rescheduling of marijuana would make it more available for doctors, researchers, and universities to study. The rescheduling of marijuana would be a huge leap forward for medical marijuana research, but in the eyes of the DEA, a Schedule II drug still has a “high potential for abuse…potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” The AAP is looks to be erring on the side of caution saying that they do not support the use of medical marijuana, but they think it’s time to start studying the efficacy of medical marijuana.
Additionally, the AAP says that they, “strongly support the decriminalization of marijuana use and encourage pediatricians to advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”
Seth Ammerman is a clinical professor in pediatrics at Stanford University and the coauthor of the AAP’s statement. Ammerman says, “Most people realize AAP advocacy is for the well-being of children. As pediatricians, we’re into prevention and early intervention. So having this voice will be important. We’re advocating for the kids and if it leads to research that establishes a benefit – whoever conducts the research – then what we’re doing could help improve pediatric care.”
Last February the Epilepsy Foundation also called for reclassification of marijuana to a lesser schedule. As more respected and influential organizations role out their support for the reclassification of marijuana, it seems to be only a matter of time before the DEA and the Obama administration acknowledge the hurdles that that they are creating for medical marijuana research.
Over 100 desperate Chilean mothers started a support group called Mama Cultiva, or Mama Grows, to share information about medical marijuana in the treatment of epileptic children. The group of mothers host covert meetings to learn about the cultivation of marijuana as well as the extraction of the CBD known to treat epileptic conditions.
Though consumption of this life-saving medicine is permitted, the cultivation still remains highly illegal and carries up to a 15 year prison sentence. This hasn’t stopped this small group of Chilean mothers from taking actions to save their kids.
Paulina Bobadilla is just one of the many mothers who fights daily with the reality of severe epileptic conditions. Paulina told the Associated Press that her child was in such severe pain that she would tear out her own fingernails.
Another mother, Gabriela Reyes, is an active member of the group with a seven-month-old who was experiencing up to 300 seizures per day. After Gabriela began treating her infant with the extracted cannabis oil (with a few drops on the pacifier) the number of seizures dropped to just 12 per day.
The members of the group can undoubtedly relate in their sense of despair, and justly pay no attention to Chile’s cannabis laws. There are currently 15,000 children in Chile that could benefit from the still illegal cannabis oil.
In September, Chile’s government began planting 750 medical marijuana plants for use in medical research. Mama Cultiva was not permitted into the program due to their focus on children, a verdict that is somewhat counterintuitive.
Still, there remains hope for Chileans as the government tiptoes in to marijuana research and unwavering parents stand up for their ailing children.
Eugene based TJ’s Organic Garden is offering up free medicinal marijuana to children suffering from epilepsy. TJ’s owner Jim Murphy says that they are aiming to supply about 500 children with the non-psychoactive medicine at absolutely no cost. Murphy said, “To be part of the fix is pretty special. It’s a payment within itself.”
The look on Jim Murphy’s face says it all; he’s proud to be helping suffering children. It seems that it’s Murphy’s sense of social responsibility that beckoned his generous donations. “It would be wrong of us not to do so,” Murphy says. With a glimpse of what’s at stake, its no wonder he feels this way.
“Now that I’m on this medication, I feel like a normal boy.”
Those are the words of 8 year old Forrest Smelser, one of the children receiving free medicine from TJ’s. On bad days, Forrest would suffer from a seizure up to every 15 minutes. His mother Tanesha says that in the case of seizures lasting more than 15 minutes, Forrest would begin suffering from brain damage.
Shortly after his 8th birthday, Forrest began suffering from epileptic seizures. The seizures were extremely damaging to the life of the rambunctious young boy. After multiple trips to the emergency room, doctors prescribed the anti-seizure drug Trileptal. The drug proved to be ineffective and didn’t provide the quality of life that a child this age deserves. Forrest became angry and violent on the drug, even hitting himself at times.
After a family friend’s suggestion, Forrest’s mother Tanesha began treating her son with non-psychoactive CBD pills. The results were remarkable. Young Forrest has been seizure free for over 9 weeks now. His mother Tanesha says, “I have my son again. He’s not this fog of a child. He’s not this angry child. He’s my child exactly.”
Forrest is one of 195 medical marijuana patients in Oregon under the age of 18. His mother Tanesha says, “I know it sounds scary and unconventional, but it’s working.” That seems to be the resounding message for parents with children afflicted by epilepsy. Children as young as 4 years old have been enrolled in Oregon’s medical marijuana program.
With more and more success cases being reported across the United States, CBD treatments for epilepsy are becoming increasingly common. TJ’s Organic Gardens has received inquiries from as far away as West Virginia. Murphy encourages parents to contact him, saying, “Get a hold of us. If we can help that’s great. If we can’t, we may be able to point you in the right direction.”
If your child is need of help, you can contact Jim Murphy at [email protected]
via Komo News