Why NC NORML Supports CBD Legislation

NOTE: This article has no hyperlinks and is a repost of the original NC NORML blog.

According to Liz Gorman at Hope for North Carolina Children with Epilepsy one out of every hundred children has medically refractory epilepsy. This means that medicines don’t work well, or at all, to control the seizures.

However it has been found that when isolated and increased, one of the chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant – Cannabidiol, or CBD for short – has an 80% success rate in treating the epileptic seizures. (In this case “success” means that there is at least a 50% reduction in the frequency of seizures.)

Since CNN’s documentary about the benefits of medical marijuana, there have been many phone calls to NORML of North Carolina by families with epileptic children asking what their options are. While the federal government refuses to allow any testing of marijuana, there are hundreds of anecdotal success stories that have compelled the news channel and the epilepsy foundation to strongly suggest it is time to have a rational look at the benefits of this non-toxic plant.

When families with epileptic children call NC NORML looking for more information about the life-giving tinctures, the ultimate question is “what are their cannabis options?”

There are two options. The first is the family can stay in North Carolina and choose a life of civil disobedience that values the health of the child over the laws of the state. The second option is to move to Colorado or some other state with medical marijuana laws that can provide a steady supply of high-CBD tinctures.

But the first option is not a real choice for these families. Their children don’t exist off the grid. They have blood drawn often by nurses that visit the children at home. By law Certified Nursing Assistants must report any illegal substances found in the child’s blood. Even if this cannabis-based medicine were to reach these North Carolina children safely, Child Protective Services would be contacted and forced to remove the child from the home. Thus presenting an unthinkable risk for the parents, despite the effectiveness of the cannabis in treating epilepsy.

So leaving North Carolina is the only real option. According to Liz, there are two North Carolina families that have already moved to Colorado to treat their child’s epilepsy. Five more are in the process of moving. They are all seeking a specific strain of marijuana that is high in cannabidiol developed and issued by the Colorado-based Realm of Caring Foundation.

Back in the Southern states though, medical marijuana hasn’t had much success. Despite three separate attempts to pass medical marijuana legislation in North Carolina, the bills have had short lives. Yet Rep. Kelly Alexander plans to submit another cannabis related bill during the 2014 short session.

As part of its mission, NORML works to remove all penalties associated with adult possession, cultivation and use of marijuana. But in North Carolina, we are realists too. Cannabis legislation is usually enacted incrementally. No state has gone directly from total criminalization of the plant to full recreational legality in one step. In each case some mild form of a medical marijuana bill has passed first.

Supporting the immediate needs of epileptic patients makes sense as there is a hierarchy of priorities. People in need of anti-seizure medicine go to the front of the line. People using the plant for cancer, pain, and other diseases are also treated as the highest priority. The rest who use the plant for its psychological healing properties will have to continue to do so covertly. Everyone’s time to smoke freely will come soon enough in North Carolina. The outcome is inevitable, but a function of how many people donate and volunteer with NC NORML.

If you don’t agree with the laws, NORML asks that you do your part to change them.
Please consider joining NC NORML today.