Why Parents Are Choosing to Treat Their Kids With Medical Cannabis

support-medical-marijuanaLast year CNN aired “Weed,” a special with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about people benefiting from medical marijuana. The Figi family and their daughter Charlotte were featured because a strain of the plant, now called Charlotte’s Web in her honor, is effectively treating her severe seizures. Charlotte has Dravet syndrome, a catastrophic form of epilepsy. Charlotte has gone from 300 grand mal (or tonic clonic) seizures a week to one by taking this non-psychoactive oil that is high in CBD and low in THC. In other words, these kids are not getting high or smoking a joint.

The show has set off a major movement. Though there was already a movement of parents and other adults working hard on this issue, it has now become a hot topic with people who never would have considered it before and the subject of new legislation in many states, including mine. Georgia is currently trying to pass HB 885. It passed the House with a vote of 171 – 4, and awaits a hearing in the Senate. Other southern states have similar legislation, including Florida and Alabama.

Many states already have medical marijuana legislation on the books, but some states are having trouble implementing it. Even if Georgia passes HB 885, it faces many challenges in implementation because the DEA has classified it as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is not recognized as having any potential medical use. This classification is simply not accurate and people are suffering because of it. This classification makes it exceptionally difficult to perform clinical studies and illegal to transport the CBD oil across state lines, even from one legal state to another. This medication is literally saving lives, but people are being denied because of their zip code.

My son is one of those kids with treatment-resistant epilepsy due to his genetic disorder tuberous sclerosis complex. Seven FDA-approved medications with potentially dangerous, even fatal, side effects and brain surgery have failed to make him seizure free. He is currently on the modified Atkins diet which is helping with his seizures, but seizure freedom remains elusive.

I know a family that lived only a few miles from me. They have relocated to Colorado to treat their son’s severe epilepsy. His response has been incredible and you can read more about it in my blog.

This is why I’m pushing for HB 885 here in Georgia. We need options. No, it’s not perfect, but the tide has turned. More states are pushing for change. It’s time for the federal government to recognize this and do their part to help us make this legislation work. Please help our kids, not to mention all the adults who are suffering. Please reschedule marijuana.

Dr. Gupta is airing a follow up to his original special on March 11 at 10 p.m.

Rebecca Gaunt is a former teacher turned writer and full-time mom. Mixed Up Mommy is her
blog about life and her son’s tuberous sclerosis complex diagnosis.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
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  1. i saw one of the documentaries about charlotte, it was very moving. good luck with your cause.

  2. Lindy loo says:

    The prohibition has to end, people should not be jailed for taking medicine that helps them.


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