Virginia Parents For Medical Marijuana is a parental advocacy group composed of concerned parents with the mission of educating the public on the benefits of medical cannabis as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. Approximately 1 million of the 3 million Americans affected by epilepsy have seizures that are not controlled by regular medication, and this is the case for our children. Most have multiple types of seizures every day, varying in intensity and length from seconds to hours. The seizures take a toll on the children’s over-all health, ability to function, and quality of life. These children also have a ten times increased risk for sudden death(SUDEP – Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy).
We have tried numerous different types of medications, diets and treatments, but our children are still having seizures.
Virginia Parents For Medical Marijuana is advocating for a safe and compassionate medical marijuana program in Virginia. Our children need access to cannabis oils – liquid plant extracts – high in CBD and/or THCa. Neither contain enough THC to cause psychoactive effects. The oil is TAKEN ORALLY, is NOT smoked and DOES NOT MAKE CHILDREN HIGH.
There is much legitimate research showing that CBD and THCa have significant neuro-protective properties. Both have reduced the frequency and intensity of seizures in pediatric epilepsy patients. These compounds also cause far fewer side effects than current anti-seizure medictions. In addition, cases have been reported of epileptic children making cognitive gains while on one or both of these medications.
We seek an immediate provision to allow access to these medicines in severe cases while also seeking the development and passage of an evidence-based Medical Marijuana bill.
Virginia has the opportunity to be innovative in its approach to this legislation. With a positive response from the community, as well as the assistance of experts and lawmakers, we can find a way to provide help for our children while removing the potential for abuse.
This isn’t a political issue, and it isn’t an ethical issue; this is a medical and public policy issue.