Open letter from a Tennessee Mom
Sandy McClurg Bush writes:
I have been hesitant to talk about this publicly for obvious reasons, but have decided that the potential benefits for my family greatly outweigh the risks of negative backlash so here goes nothing…….
As most of you now know our son Cameron has a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy called infantile spasms. Despite being on medications he is still having anywhere from 3-20 seizures every day, on average. Over the last few weeks I have spent many hours researching something that I now feel has a very real possibility of helping my son, medical marijuana. I believe that many people’s hesitations and oppositions to this are based on misinformation, so I would like to ask all of you to put aside what you think you know about it and allow me to share what I have learned through my many hours of research.
I have learned that medical marijuana has uses that I never knew about in treating Parkinson, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (not symptoms of chemo, cancer itself) and others, but for obvious reasons I have focused on the treatment of epilepsy and more specifically pediatric epilepsy. 1. Children do not smoke the marijuana. It is administered in an oral form. 2. The strain that is used for epilepsy has less than 1% THC (what makes people feel high) and has usually 15-17% CBD or cannabidiol, which is what they believe acts as the anti epileptic. Because of the make up of these strains, they have no psychotropic effects, which ironically many seizure medication do. 3. These high CBD, low THC strains have virtually no side effects at all! Many seizure meds have horrible side effects and many of them are not even technically tested for use in children. Some of them sedate kids so much they can’t do anything but lay there in an almost catatonic state. Cam has been on a medication which shot his blood pressure up to 260/110 at the highest which is extremely dangerous. It also caused him to stop smiling, laughing, and basically doing everything that we had spent that last 6 months in therapy gaining and he only cried and moaned. And it didn’t even work to stop his seizures.
This week he will be staring on another medication which can cause permanent peripheral loss. That will be his third medication in 9 months we have tried. I could go on and on about this but I think you get the point about the side effects. I have watched videos of children with various forms of epilepsy who’s lives have literally been changed by medical marijuana. And to know that it is out there but that it is not an option for my son, simply because of where we live is literally painful for me. I watch him suffer and struggle every day and I have seen/heard/read enough that if it were an option for him I can tell you I would try it without hesitation!
I am asking all of you, but specifically my friends in Tennessee to support our family by sending an email to our state representatives asking them to support house bill 1385 (HB1385) for medical marijuana. They start back to work Tuesday and I think that we can make a difference if we show them that the people of their state care about this. Below are the 3 representatives that are for the area around where we live in Knoxville and also a link to the TN government page that has the whole list for the state. My friends in other states, there are kids like Cam suffering in every state and they could all use your support! firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/members/
I would also invite you all to do your own research and not take my word for it. I do not claim to be a scientist or a doctor. I am just a mother trying to figure out how to give my son the best chance at the best life he can have! This is the link to a video about two children that I first heard about when starting on this journey. The stories of Charlotte and Zaki. I have watched it numerous times and it still gives me chills. Their success is amazing. Thank you all for reading this lengthy post. This means a lot to us! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9qkYLtAhSQ
You can use the following link to provide your address and it will email your legislature associated with your address. This is a link that the National NORML put together: