PENNSYLVANIA: A push to legalize medicinal marijuana here in Pennsylvania is making its way through the state senate.
Local parents want lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow their children to take the chemical CBD that is found in the cannabis plant.
They say it could save their lives.
For the Stanley family, seizures have become a part of daily life.
But there’s one new medication out there that’s reaping success across the nation.
And Louann Speese-Stanley says it could be the key to her daughter’s cure.
16-year-old Diana Stanley has been medicated for epilepsy since she was 9 days old.
It has slowed down her brain development so much that today she is mentally no older than a 2 and a half year old.
“Dressing, potting, getting ready for school, getting on the bus, feeding, it’s like I’m having an infant but she’s 16,” says her mother, Louann Speese-Stanley.
Speese-Stanley doesn’t even know how many seizures Diana has a day because she’s so used to her condition.
“She bangs her head on the table when she’s eating and I’m thinking it must be a seizure,” says Speese-Stanley.
There’s one thing she believes could make a difference, but it’s controversial.
A liquid form of medicinal marijuana that Louann and many other parents across Pennsylvania are trying to leagalize doesn’t include THC, the chemical known to make people high.
“We’re not talking about passing out joints to people who are sick or kids who are sick,” says State Senator, Rob Teplitz, (D) 15th Legislative District.
Senate bill 770 has bipartisan support.
Senator Teplitz says the chemical CBD can be extracted from the hallucinogenic part and used as medication.
And it’s stories like one from Colorado where the CBD form is legal that gives families in Pennsylvania hope.
Medicinal marijuana has reduced Charlotte’s seizures by 99%.
Doctors say the medicine’s effect was almost instantaneous.
And while there’s no guarantee the drug would work for Diana, this fight is worth the possibility of a normal life.
“I don’t know if she can catch up. I don’t know if it’s possible but I would like to give her that chance to catch up,” says Speese-Stanley.
The bill is currently sitting in the health and welfare committee.