Medical Marijuana Can Help Sick Children
Posted on January 15th, 2014
Charlotte's Web, the Children's Medical Marijuana
Charlotte's Web is a very popular children's novel by American author E. B. White about a pig named Wilber who is saved from being slaughtered by a spider named Charlotte. So, what does the classic children's novel have to do with a children's drug? Just as Charlotte the spider was able to help save Wilber, even when his fate was already decided for him, the Charlotte's Web strain of medicinal marijuana may be able to save the lives of severely sick children who consume the substance. The only problem is, medicinal marijuana is illegal in most states.
What is Charlotte's Web and why is it an Acceptable Strain of Medicinal Marijuana for Children?
Charlotte's Web is low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive, crystalline compound that is responsible for giving those who use it the feeling of being high, and is high in Cannabidiol (CBD), which has medical applications that help reduce pain and symptoms for multiple diseases. This children's strain of medicinal marijuana is sold in the form of oil that can be clearly measured and baked into edibles.
The Charlotte's Web strain was created by the Stanley brothers in Colorado and was named for Charlotte Figi, a little girl who experienced seizures at the tender age of 3 months. When administered Charlotte's Web, young Charlotte Figi's seizures were reduced from hundreds of seizures a month to just one or two. The seizures can be life threatening, particularly for a young child. While Charlotte Figi was fortunate to receive this life changing stain of medicinal marijuana, unfortunately, not all sick children have the luxury of living in a state where medicinal marijuana is an acceptable form of medication.
Why is there a Controversy about Charlotte's Web?
The controversy about Charlotte's Web is the same controversy that there is across the nation regarding medicinal marijuana. States that have not passed laws legalizing marijuana -in any form- for medicinal purposes hold that marijuana is a dangerous drug and do not accept the medicinal properties of the drug.
Unfortunately, what this means for families with sick children who do not live in a state where medicinal marijuana is legal is that they cannot be treated by medicinal marijuana in their home state. So, parents with sick children have two options: 1) attempt to treat children with approved medication, or 2) move to a state that observes medicinal marijuana laws.
The problem with continuing to use approved prescriptive medication is that most of these drugs are made from harsh chemicals that have strong side effects. There is also the complaint that certain prescribed narcotics do not treat the symptoms or the pain. In particular, attorney Coy Browning of Fort Walton Beach and his wife, Elizabeth, are petitioning the Florida courts to allow their daughter, 21-month-old Isla Grace, to take the Charlotte's Web strain of marijuana to treat her disease, Dravet Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), a rare form of intractable epilepsy that starts in infancy.
In a legislative committee in Tallahassee, Florida, attorney Browning voiced his concerns for his daughter's welfare stating that he is considering moving his family to Colorado so that Isla Grace can receive the marijuana treatment. Browning's concern for his daughter's welfare was echoed by other parents who also made cases for the benefit of the Charlotte's Web strain of marijuana.
What measures are legislators planning on taking?
Currently, legislators are considering legalizing the Charlotte's Web stain of marijuana, but see no need to legalize all forms of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Parents are proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the use of this particular medical strain of marijuana, rather than attempting to legalize marijuana across the board - which is an attempt that has failed in the past. Currently, any form of marijuana possession or consumption is highly illegal and can result in an arrest, a drug charge, and a criminal record with felony and misdemeanor conviction, possible incarceration, and expensive fines.
Expunging Your Marijuana Offense from Your Criminal Record
Though Florida may legalize the Charlotte's Web strain of medicinal marijuana, the drug is otherwise far from being legalized. For individuals who have been arrested and/or charged with a marijuana offense, the arrest and charge will stay on your criminal record until you have the incident expunged from your criminal record.
To expunge your marijuana offense from your criminal record, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced expungement attorney. A Florida based attorney will be well versed with the expungement process in Florida and as such will be able to navigate you through the expungement process from filing the motion for expungement with the court to representing you in court, defending your case against any objections raised by the District Attorney.