Cannabis oil will be used in Idaho to help some children suffering from persistent seizures. Gov. Otter signed an executive order in April allowing the very limited use of the drug, and that program is only a couple of weeks away from starting. Twenty-five children will be selected to take part in the program and they will be those with the most severe cases of epilepsy. Neurologists will refer patients and the hope is that the medicine works and will lead to it becoming FDA approved.
25 Idaho children to take part in cannabis oil program
“Even with all the struggles he’s been through he’s always happy,” said Wendy Adams, who lives in Meridian.
Adams is the mother of 10-year-old Sean. He started having seizures when he was just 10 weeks old.
“It’s hard on all of us when he has seizures every day,” said Adams.
She feels like they have tried everything to make him better.
“Right now he’s on three medications and a special diet and he’s tried different combinations of medications,” said Adams.
She says nothing seems to work for long. There may be some good news coming, though. Sean is a candidate for the Expanded Access Program where he would receive marijuana extract, free of charge, from a pharmaceutical company.
“It will allow them access to a pure plant based cannabis oil that is being researched to see if it is effective with childhood seizures,” said Elisha Figueroa, who is the Idaho Office of Drug Policy Director. “This is really only appropriate for the most severe cases because it’s an experimental drug.”
Figueroa says the hope is that the cannabis oil will be effective for the 25 kids chosen for the program and the FDA will look at the results gathered in Idaho and throughout the country and approve the medicine so more people can use it.
“We just need to do a fast track,” said William Ebsensen, who is the New Approach Idaho president.
Ebsensen has been trying to legalize medical marijuana in Idaho for years.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Ebsensen. “There’s just so many cases of people with cancer and Crohn’s and PTSD that could also use this drug.”
Figueroa says the state wants to help those people, but says that requires making sure what they’re taking is safe.
“We want to make sure we know exactly what’s in it,” said Figueroa.
For 25 kids in Idaho they will help decide with this program. Adams is just crossing her fingers her son is selected.
“I think that would be amazing,” said Adams. “As a mom I’m willing to do anything, anything it takes.”