Cannabis has been legalized, by vote, to be a “medication” in many states across the United States. No other medication in the US has been voted on and elected as a treatment option for illness. Because marijuana remains federally illegal, the FDA technically doesn’t have oversight over the production of the final marijuana products – including CBD, THC and combination THC/CBD products. Each state makes their own regulations and establishes their own regulatory system.
Is CBD from Marijuana for Epilepsy Really About Compassion?
Parents Opposed to Pot supports every effort to find cures for children who suffer, but it’s unclear if Pennsylvania legislators who passed a medical marijuana bill on April 13 really understood the subject. Dr. Michael Privitera, President of the Epilepsy Society urged legislators to vote “no” on SB-3, but the legislators voted to follow anecdotal evidence rather than the science. (Portions of the letter are below.)
The manipulations of the marijuana lobby are typical: give people false hope, play the “compassion” card to manipulate public opinion and shame people into adopting their view. Because there is so much drama behind the people who advocate for marijuana use to treat epilepsy, many parents are expecting miraculous cures that are not always forthcoming. The pro-marijuana advocates need to warn that any relief CBD oil gives for epilepsy is not necessarily permanent.
The Children Given Marijuana for Seizures who Died
A family in Arizona who was part of a lawsuit to get the extracts for their son saw a dramatic difference in the boy, an improvement in all levels of functioning. Yet the poor boy died. The family still advocates for marijuana extracts. We understand the view of the parents — they saw their son have a better life for a brief period before his death.
At the end of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed 3, it was mentioned that Vivian, the little girl whose family moved to Colorado because to have extracts of marijuana not available in New Jersey, was no longer being helped as much as she had been at first.
We are sorry for the parents who must go through so much to help their children. We would hope they can be assured of purity — free from mold, fungi and pesticides.
Lori Robinson, co-founder of Moms Strong said, “Apparently, only young kids who have disorders that break the heart can move mountains because parents whose kids are suffering egregious consequences from this plant really don’t garner any attention by legislatures.” Compassionate Pennsylvanians should learn both sides of an issue.
So, MIchael Privitera MD, President of the American Epilepsy Society, who wrote a heartfelt letter on March 15, 2016, to Rep Matt Baker and the Pennsylvania Legislature, noting scientific studies and warning of the dangers of making law on such scant evidence. Legislators voted against Dr Privitera’s pleading of a “no” vote on SB-3. There are those kids who develop the adverse condition like status epilepticus. Here are excerpts from Dr. Privitera’s letter:
“Additionally, in 13% of cases reviewed seizures worsened with use of cannabis and in some patients there were significant adverse events. These are not the stories that you have likely heard in your public hearings or have read in popular press, but they are the reality of AES members who are practitioners at Children’s Hospital Colorado who have cared for the largest number of cases of children with epilepsy treated with cannabis in the U.S.
Unlike the product used in the GW Pharmaceutical study, the families and children moving to Colorado are receiving unregulated, highly variable artisanal preparations of cannabis oil prescribed, in most cases, by physicians with no training in pediatrics, neurology or epilepsy. As a result, the epilepsy specialists in Colorado have been at the bedside of children having severe dystonic reactions and other movement disorders, developmental regression, intractable vomiting and worsening seizures that can be so severe they have to put the child into a coma to get the seizures to stop.” (GW Pharmaceuticals is a British Company)
Lori Robinson stated: “Now that we have medicinal marijuana in 24 states, why is it that the federal government not demanding disclosure of marijuana’s adverse effects on mental health, particularly for those ages 25 and under?” Recently, Arizona’s governor signed a law stating that medical marijuana dispensaries must post prominent signs warning pregnant and breastfeeding women not to use.
She added, “I wish I believed this was more about compassion, but I don’t. More likely it’s about the money.”
We believe that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who supports marijuana legalization, is disingenuous when he criticizes the Koch Brothers and Wall Street bankers while not calling out the fact that George Soros and Peter Lewis have given millions and millions of dollars for the legalization of marijuana. The marijuana lobby also donates to Congress.
On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Judge Kimberly J Mueller of the US Court in Sacramento upheld the constitutionality of marijuana’s Schedule I designation in the 5-tier classification set down by Congress in 1970. Schedule I drugs must have a high potential for abuse.
On April 16, 2015, Governor Butch Otter of Idaho issued an executive order allowing for expanded access to Epidiolex, a pure, pharmacy version of cannabidiol (CBD). He vetoed a bill that would have allowed non-pharmacy grade CBD for the treatment of seizures.