If You Needed Convincing That Marijuana Can Be Good For You, Meet This Young Boy

OREGON:  It’s been a good month for marijuana legalization in America. Earlier this month, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia approved the use of recreational pot, while Colorado and Washington have already successfully demonstrated the economic benefits of legal weed.

But if you want to see how laxer marijuana regulations benefit people at the individual level, look no further than the story of Forrest Smelser, a 9-year-old boy in Oregon suffering from epilepsy. Since he was diagnosed about a year ago, Forrest’s condition worsened to the point that he would sometimes seize every 15 minutes, and the anti-seizure drug Trileptal made him suicidal.

Desperate, Forrest’s family decided to try an unconventional treatment: medical cannabis. And the results were remarkable. “I have my son again. He’s not this fog of a child. He’s not this angry child. He’s my child exactly,” Tanesha Smelser, Forrest’s mother, told KOMO News.

Forrest has now been seizure-free for nine weeks and feels much better. “Now that I’m on this medication, I feel like a normal boy,” he said.

Cuomo Wants Health Department To Speed Up Medical Marijuana Availability For Children With Epilepsy

NEW YORK:  Gov. Cuomo wants to make medical marijuana available soon to children with epilepsy — but he’s not acting quickly enough for the anguished mom of a 9-year-old girl who died this month.

Cuomo, in a letter Wednesday, asked the state Health Department to study making the drug available to epileptic children sooner than the 18-month time frame set by New York’s new medical marijuana law.

He cited the deaths of Anna Conte, 9, and Olivia Marie Newton, 3, both from the Buffalo area, who suffered from epilepsy.

Coming Soon To Utah Liquor Stores: Cannabis Oils?

UTAH:  A state senator who co-sponsored the bill legalizing the possession of cannabis extracts to treat children with epilepsy is considering ways to make it easier for Utah parents to get the oils, including potentially making them available at state liquor stores.

Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, says the problem parents face now is that it is still technically illegal under federal law for them to possess or transport the oils, which are extracts from marijuana plants high in a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) but with almost all of the psychotropic ingredient THC removed.

 Many Utah parents plan to drive to — or import the oils from — neighboring Colorado.

The federal government has stated it doesn’t plan to crack down on those complying with state law. But, Urquhart says, rather than expose these parents to possible action by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, he would consider having the state import the oils and make them available at liquor stores across Utah.

 

Kids Using Marijuana

OREGON:  More than fifty of Oregon’s registered medical marijuana patients are under the age of 14.  These children typically use one or more components, called cannabinoids, extracted from cannabis, to control cancer (and arguably send it into remission,) or to address OCD and pediatric epilepsy or to abate symptoms like chronic pain.

These results are achieved, patients and their parents say, without the dangerous side effects of conventional pharmaceuticals.

Medical studies around the world suggest that these uses are valid and beneficial and the American Medical Association has proposed reclassifying research into medical marijuana so it has a higher priority; one study at the University of California San Francisco began this spring.

However, the young Oregonians and their families say that, in addition to fighting a daily battle against combative medical conditions, they also face prejudice and derision and frequently feel pressure to keep quiet about their therapy.

 

Epilepsy Foundation: Medical Marijuana Must Be A Treatment Option

WASHINGTON:  The Epilepsy Foundation has strongly endorsed medical marijuana as a treatment option for the seizures that strike 2.3 million Americans, and has called on the federal government to change how it classifies pot.

“The Epilepsy Foundation believes that the end of seizures should not be determined by one’s zip code,” CEO Philip Cattone and board chairman Warren Lammert said Thursday in a statement.

The two foundation leaders urged the feds to:

– Reschedule marijuana from its status as a Schedule I drug, the same as heroin, in recognition of properties that help patients of multiple illnesses. [Read more…]

N.J. Family Gets $10,000 Gift To Move To Colorado For Medical Marijuana

NEW JERSEY:  The Scotch Plains family whose fight to get medical marijuana for their toddler has drawn national attention, received a $10,000 donation on Christmas to help them relocate to Colorado.

The donation to the Wilson Family of $5,000 each came from MagicalButter.com, a Washington state company that manufactures cannabis-infused edible products and the machine that extracts the plant’s active ingredients, and Lisa and Drew Braun, friends of the company’s CEO, Garyn Angel said.

Angel and his friends made a YouTube video informing them about the donation, and enlisted a Wilson family friend to pay them a visit Christmas Day and videotape their reaction. Both are seen crying and laughing. [Read more…]

GOP Rep. Walter Jones Pushes For Marijuana In Some Cases

NORTH CAROLINA: U.S. Rep. Walter Jones has taken up the case of a number of desperate North Carolina parents who are hoping state lawmakers will legalize medicinal marijuana for children with uncontrollable seizures.

In a statement, Jones said that several North Carolina parents of children with life-threatening illnesses have come to him with a “compelling argument that political leaders in North Carolina should consult with medical professionals to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana in certain instances.”

The Republican congressman, whose 3rd District covers parts of Pender and New Hanover counties, said these parents have “exhausted all other available options to provide relief for their kids.”

“I believe this issue should certainly be studied at the state level, and I encourage our state elected officials to give this, and other potential treatment options, the attention that they deserve.”

 

Marijuana stops child's severe seizures

COLORADO:  She was 5 when the Figis learned there was nothing more the hospital could do.

That’s when Paige decided to try medical marijuana. But finding two doctors to sign off on a medical marijuana card for Charlotte was no easy feat. She was the youngest patient in the state ever to apply.

Scientists don’t fully understand the long-term effects early marijuana use may have on children. Studies that show negative effects, such as diminished lung function or increased risk of a heart attack, are primarily done on adult marijuana smokers. But Charlotte wouldn’t be smoking the stuff. [Read more…]

Marijuana stops child's severe seizures

COLORADO:  She was 5 when the Figis learned there was nothing more the hospital could do.

That’s when Paige decided to try medical marijuana. But finding two doctors to sign off on a medical marijuana card for Charlotte was no easy feat. She was the youngest patient in the state ever to apply.

Scientists don’t fully understand the long-term effects early marijuana use may have on children. Studies that show negative effects, such as diminished lung function or increased risk of a heart attack, are primarily done on adult marijuana smokers. But Charlotte wouldn’t be smoking the stuff. [Read more…]