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By Steve Birr
Lawmakers are mulling a marijuana legalization bill in Washington state that would assist families who are forced to treat their child’s severe conditions with illegal pot.
The state is considering making it legal to grow marijuana on private property and to share the substance with other people. The legislation is not specifically written with medicinal purposes in mind, but will remove a massive barrier to treatment for parents with children suffering from debilitating conditions.
Parents of children with severe epilepsy, muscle spasms and rare medical conditions around the country report success with marijuana where all other approved medications failed, reports NBC affiliate King 5.
Meagan Holt, the mother of a daughter with the terminal disease Zellweger Syndrome, testified Monday at the Washington state House that pot can be life-saving for children like her’s. Currently, Holt illegally obtains CBD oil, a cannabis extract without the psychoactive effects of THC, in order to treat her daughter’s condition.
“This is my reality,” Holt said during her testimony, according to King 5. “Most children with this devastating disease don’t survive past their first year of life.”
Parents in many other states across the country face similar circumstances, committing felonies to ease their childrens’ suffering. Many state lawmakers remain opposed to medical marijuana legalization due to a lack of definitive research on the substance. The medical community in Utah is urging lawmakers to reject the “medicinal” label given to pot and to rely on research, not “subjective” testimony from people using marijuana for their conditions.
These healthcare professionals and their supporters fear giving the medicinal label to marijuana could pave the way for the use of other questionable, unapproved medical remedies. The pool of research remains small however due to the DEA’s continued designation of marijuana as a Schedule I drug in the same league with heroin.
Parents argue they cannot sit by and wait for the government to move forward with research while their child suffers.
“When all opiates don’t work, and my daughter is still seizing, and I have a choice between life or death, I’m going to use the cannabis,” Don Lee Carty, a CBD treatment advocate, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “She’s 91 percent seizure free today, and that’s 10 months. Medicating with CBD, my daughter has confidence now. Children are living because of this, families are getting their lives back together because of cannabis.”