Target: Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Goal: Grant medicinal marijuana derivatives the same legal protection as medicinal marijuana in plant form
Two parents in Canada are currently using illegal marijuana oils to treat a six-year-old child with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy mostly affecting infants and children. While the marijuana prescribed to the child is entirely legal, the oils derived from the same product are not. These two parents, as well as others throughout Canada, are at risk of severe legal penalties should any investigation be made into their processing of the marijuana.
Compounds in marijuana have been found to have significant medicinal benefits for a host of illnesses and their symptoms, including seizures from epilepsy, illness from chemotherapy, and loss of appetite in HIV/AIDS patients. In this case, cannabidiol, or CBD, is the anti-convulsant responsible for suppressing the boy’s seizures. In order to avoid the psychoactive effects of the drug, the parents ship their medicinal marijuana to a lab where the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is removed from the product, creating an oil that can be orally ingested.
The first day that the child began his medicinal marijuana oil treatment, his seizures dropped from over 50 per day to only one. Since then, the boy has experienced only a handful of seizures and has begun to enjoy a normal quality of life where he can ride horses, play sports, and safely attend a regular school. His previous treatment put him at risk of a host of side effects, including nausea, weight loss, kidney damage, and brain damage, while only occasional drowsiness is reported from the oil.
Currently, both the parents and the labs that produce the oil are at risk of legal action, and could be found guilty of drug trafficking and possessing large quantities of marijuana derivatives. They could be prosecuted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and sentenced to prison.
Processed marijuana products are an excellent medicinal alternative for those that wish to take selective benefits from the plant and avoid any psychoactive effects. It is ridiculous that parents and laboratories are put at legal risk for simply medicating an ailing child. Your signature will demand that medicinal marijuana oils are granted the same legal status as medicinal marijuana in plant form.
Dear Mr. Stephen Harper,
A six-year old boy and his parents are at risk of prosecution under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act because of their processing of legal medicinal marijuana. In order to avoid the psychoactive effects of the drug, the parents send their legal marijuana to a lab which removes the THC and produces an oil high in CBD, an anti-convulsant.
With this oil, the boy suffers only a handful of seizures compared to his previous 50+ per day. He is enjoying a far more regular quality of life, free from dangerous the side effects of his previous medications, including brain and kidney damage.
It is unfair that medicinal marijuana patients are not legally allowed to use medications that isolate particular qualities of the substance. For children and professional adults, it is particularly beneficial to use products that eliminate the traditional high associated with marijuana. I ask that legislation is enacted to grant users of medicinal marijuana derivatives the same protection of users of the raw plant form.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United States Fish and Wildlife Service via Creative Commons