Epilepsy Foundation Wants Safe, Legal Access to Medical Cannabis as a Treatment Option.
The Florida Epilepsy Foundation has endorsed proposed Amendment 2, the medical marijuana legislation on Florida’s Nov. 8 ballot. The legal language of Amendment 2 was written to explicitly allow medical marijuana to be provided as a treatment for patients with the following specific diseases:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Amendment 2 would also allow licensed physicians to certify patients for medical marijuana use after diagnosing them with some “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated.”
From The Epilepsy Foundation:
The Epilepsy Foundation supports Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Amendment 2 (2016), which would ensure Florida residents living with epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures, as well as other conditions, can gain safe, legal access to medical cannabis as a treatment option.
The Epilepsy Foundation is the leading national voluntary health organization that speaks on behalf of the nearly 3 million Americans with epilepsy and seizures. We foster the wellbeing of children and adults affected by seizures through research programs, educational activities, advocacy and direct services. Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Approximately 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. There is no “”one size fits all”” treatment for epilepsy, and about a third of people living with epilepsy suffer from uncontrolled or intractable seizures, with many more living with significant side-effects, despite available treatments. Uncontrolled seizures can lead to disability, injury, and even death. This is why people living with uncontrolled seizures turn to medical cannabis when other options have failed.
The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to supporting physician directed care, and to exploring and advocating for all potential treatment options for epilepsy, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil and medical cannabis. People with uncontrolled seizures live with the continual risk of serious injuries and loss of life. In states where medical use of cannabis is legal as a treatment for epilepsy, a number of people living with epilepsy report beneficial effects, including a decrease in seizure activity, when using CBD. If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical cannabis for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option. We support state regulated medical cannabis programs that ensures high standards of patient care and product safety. The proposed amendment would expand the state’s medical cannabis program while preserving the Department of Health’s involvement in the development and oversight of the program.
Not everyone with epilepsy should or would consider medical cannabis as a treatment option, and further research is needed on the connection between cannabis and seizures. But medical cannabis, when prescribed by a treating physician, and dispensed from a state regulated facility, may be the best alternative for some individuals living with drug resistant epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures.
The Epilepsy Foundation support the proposed constitutional amendment so Florida residents living with epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures can gain safe, legal access to medical cannabis as a treatment option.
Philip M. Gattone, M.Ed. President & CEO