Recently, cannabis role in society has come under review. Finally, the drug of choice for America’s counterculture is going mainstream, especially in regards to the medicinal benefits to children suffering from seizure disorders.
The nation’s relationship with marijuana is evolving at a rapid speed. Both Colorado and Washington have laws in place supporting recreational marijuana use. Additionally California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, Colorado, Nevada, Vermont, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Michigan, and New Jersey all have passed laws that eliminate criminal penalties for medical marijuana use.
More changes are looming on the horizon as parents and medical advocates are actively supporting marijuana decriminalization as the drug has shown promise in helping children with epilepsy.
Children born with Dravet Syndrome can never outgrow the disease. Also called severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy or (SMEI), the disease is rare and cannot be treated by traditional medicine. Children enduring the disease have their first seizure by their first birthday, eventually other types of seizures can occur.
Research has indicated that certain marijuana strains can help in managing the condition. One survey of parent of children with medically resistant epilepsy has indicated that marijuana strains low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high in cannabidiol can help subdue the influx of electrical and chemical activity that causes seizures. Proof supporting the marijuana/epilepsy connection is hot news.
In Ohio; parents Scott and Nicole Nazzarine are spearheading the medical marijuana movement. Their daughter, Sophia, was diagnosed with having epilepsy when she was only 8 months old. By age five, Sophia has already had multiple surgeries to assist with her condition; the Nazzarines say they cannabis oil provides relief naturally.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, confusion about the laws prevents needy parent from securing cannabis for their children. Two moms, Belinda Phillip and Rebecca Brown, have made the news as they have both gone on record saying they have seen how cannabis oil has helped reduce seizure severity and quantity in their children.
In addition to the medical marijuana grass roots movement, medical professionals and politicians are also getting into the action. In February 2014, the Epilepsy Foundation announced their support for increasing cannabis research and access to the drug.
At around the same time, eighteen Congress members wrote President Barak Obama requesting that the drug become reclassified. For decades, cannabis has had a Schedule 1 classification in relation to the Controlled Substance Act. That label has the drug categorized as having no medicinal value and is a major hindrance to making medical marijuana legal to use on a national level.
Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress to change the laws.