A parent will stop at just about nothing to find relief for their sick child, even if it means going beyond the norm. When it comes to controlling seizures, medical marijuana has been found to be an extremely effective treatment, and parents across the state of Massachusetts have been pushing for easier access to this treatment for their children who can’t seem to find any relief from other prescription anti-epileptic drugs.
In a recent interview, Stacy Fisk told Boston News channel FOX25 that medical marijuana has done wonders for her daughter, Ashley, who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy causing frequent violent and debilitating seizures at just 5 months old. Ashley has found almost complete relief from using cannabis oil. Watch the video below.
Cannabis for epilepsy
Before turning to cannabis, Stacy Fisk tried just about every anti-epileptic drug for her daughter but nothing was stopping her from seizures. After doing her own research on alternative medical treatments, Stacy came across medical marijuana, and since then, she hasn’t looked back. By taking three doses of the marijuana in oil or tincture form every day, Stacy said that Ashley is about, “90 to 95 percent better at this point.”
“It is the worst thing in the world to see your child have a seizure,” Stacy Fisk told FOX25, “I know with 100 percent certainty that this is helping my daughter when everything else has failed.”
For Stacy’s daughter, marijuana is a miracle drug, but not everyone agrees with using medical marijuana for children.
Why is it so difficult for children to get access?
While medical marijuana is legal in the state of Massachusetts, with more than 19,000 active patients, the process of getting a prescription for this treatment is a very difficult and lengthy one. In order to prescribe it to children, parents are required to get two authorizations including one from a pediatrician.
Yet, not many pediatricians are on board with writing up a prescription for cannabis. In fact, Dr. Eric Ruby is currently the only pediatrician in Massachusetts who will prescribe marijuana for children, with about 40 patients and more than a dozen still waiting to be seen.
The reason for this is because a majority of professionals in the medical community argue that in order to prescribe marijuana to children safely, more research needs to be done on its long-term effects.
Dr. Sharon Levy, a neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, is one of the many doctors who is against prescribing cannabis for children. Levy told FOX25 that, “Illicit exposure to marijuana in adolescence is associated with things like mental health disorders and there’s been a study that shows marijuana use during adolescence is associated with drops in IQ.”
While a handful of doctors feel that giving cannabis to children is irresponsible, including Dr. Levy, Dr. Ruby on the other hand argued that, “it’s irresponsible to use anti-epileptic after anti-epileptic that doesn’t work. That is very expensive. That makes your child turn into a zombie.”
For people who are suffering from epilepsy and are seeking immediate relief, medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial, but the controversy over this treatment for children is making it harder for young patients to get well and most importantly, stay well.
Do you think pediatricians should prescribe medical cannabis to children with severe medical conditions? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.