A bill is on its way to the governor’s desk would allow parents to use a type of cannabis oil to treat their kids’ seizures. But, opponents have said there’s not enough science behind it, and it might lead to legalization of marijuana. But, mothers of the children suffering from serious seizures say they need help now.
Clare Carey’s 10-year-old daughter Alexis has an untreatable form of epilepsy.
“She had her first seizure when she was two months old, and since that time she has had thousands of seizures,” Carey said. “There isn’t a medication she’s going to take that’s going to stop her seizures.”
Holli Bunderson’s 7-year-old son Scout has cortical displasia and autism. He’s had four brain surgeries to try to help his seizures.
“After the last surgery last July, we were very hopeful, because it looked like the seizures were stopping,” she said. “But then they started to come back. So now, we’re looking for more options.”
They want one of those options to be cannbidiol oil, a type of cannabis oil that cannot get people high. The medical community is split on its effectiveness, but these moms say they want to be able to try it. It’s illegal in Idaho right now, which is why Bunderson has been working all session, and Carey for two sessions, to try to pass a bill named Alexis’ Law for Carey’s daughter. It would allow the oil’s use.
After the bill looked dead just a couple weeks ago, it was revived, and now sits on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Bunderson called it a “roller coaster ride.” Carey says it passed because of “people having empathy and being educated.”
But no one is sure that the governor will sign it. Many in the Statehouse, including some on the governor’s staff, have voiced concerns that there’s not enough medical science behind the bill, and that it essentially legalizes marijuana. Or at the very least, they say, it opens the door for legalization in the future.
“We need to take care of the children that need the help now and worry about that down the road,” she said. “I trust that legislatures in the future will be able to take on that issue if it comes up.”
Carey says she can’t wait any longer for a reprieve. The bill does have an emergency clause. So, if the governor does sign it, it would go into effect immediately.
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