Alabama - Narrow Use of Cannabis Oil Makes No Sense

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There was a lot of back-slapping and ceremony near the end of the legislative session last March. Lawmakers had successfully passed a bill that allowed a sick little girl, and other children like her, to enter a study at UAB that would provide her with cannabis oil, or CBD, to treat her debilitating seizures. That might seem like a no-brainer decision – allowing sick people to drink plant juice so they get better – but CBD has the word "cannabis" in it.

So, our Mayberry-esque Legislature struggled mightily with the decision to allow a marijuana derivative – albeit one that doesn't get you high — to be used to stop the pain and suffering of a child. When they finally passed this "difficult" bill – seriously, some called it that – oh, the celebrations that they did undertake. The little girl, Carly Chandler, and her family were recognized on the State House floor. There was a nice photo-op with Gov. Robert Bentley and Carly and other children.

All in all, our lawmakers were quite pleased with themselves for doing literally the least they could do in this case. And just to make sure they didn't mistakenly do a sliver more, they wrote the law so narrowly, so strictly, that the life-altering, and in some cases life-saving, CBD oil can be provided only to children suffering from epilepsy.

Which was quite a blow to Itamar Shapira. Shapira, a 21-year-old recent Vanderbilt University graduate from Huntsville, is suffering from a rare condition called ulcerative colitis, according to reports from several media outlets in the state. The disease produces so many ulcers along the lining of the colon that it cannot properly process food. If it sounds painful, it is. Excruciatingly so.

Shapira, once a fit cross-country runner, told the Huntsville Times of lying on the bathroom floor, screaming in pain. Shapira's degree from Vandy is in biomedical engineering, and he's been researching his condition. Turns out, CBD oil is a treatment, probably the most effective treatment. Not only can it kill the pain, but it might also help regenerate the lining of his colon, essentially curing him. Or, well, it would have.

At this point, it's likely too late for Shapira. He's probably going to have his colon removed soon, because the damage is too great. But for the past nine months, he and his father have been writing state lawmakers and Bentley, asking for help. Actually, they were pleading for help. Pleading for Shapira to be allowed to take part in the study or just be given the CBD oil that could cure his illness. The response: crickets. Well, I take that back. Bentley, a doctor by trade, had a staffer write back to say there's nothing the governor can do, but that he does support "more research."

More research. Because God forbid we go all willy-nilly down a path of erring on the side opposite human suffering. But OK, research away. It will take literally 10 minutes on Google, or a five-minute phone conversation with any number of doctors who've researched this oil, to find that there hasn't been a single negative side effect discovered from CBD use. It doesn't get you high. It has no psychoactive properties. It comes from a plant that's grown primarily to produce hemp, which is common in thousands of products we ingest or wear every day.

If Shapira drinks the oil and it does nothing to cure his disease, that's the only negative he's likely to experience. But Bentley and lawmakers know that. And the reason I know they know it is because quite a few doctors were advocating heavily for CBD oil to be legalized last year. Many of those doctors wrote legislators and Bentley on the topic, providing facts and research to support their efforts. But put all of that aside and let's just deal with the straight facts. You've got a sick Alabama citizen who's in tremendous pain. A non-narcotic plant juice will solve that pain and possibly heal him and thousands more like him. This is not a complex problem.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Montgomeryadvertiser.com
Author: Josh Moon
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Website: Narrow use of cannabis oil makes no sense