Epilepsy Foundation Calls For Increased Patient Access To Medicinal Cannabis

Epilepsy Foundation Calls For Increased Patient Access To Medicinal Cannabis

Landover, MD: The Epilepsy Foundation of America supports patients having the legal option to access whole plant cannabis for therapeutic purposes, and is calling for an end to federal restrictions that unnecessarily burden investigators from conducting clinical research assessing the plant’s efficacy, according to statements released publicly by the agency last week.

A statement authored by Philip M. Gattone, President of the Epilepsy Foundation, and Warren Lammert, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors reads, "The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana. … If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical marijuana for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option now – not in five years or ten years."

They add: "The Epilepsy Foundation calls for an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy. … Certain components of medical marijuana, including CBD (cannabidiol), have shown effectiveness in animal studies, and there have been encouraging anecdotal reports from patients. But further research and unbiased clinical trials are needed to establish whether and in what forms medical marijuana is or is not effective and safe. Restrictions on the use of medical marijuana continue to stand in the way of this research."

The paper also calls for "changes to state laws to increase access to medical marijuana as a treatment option for epilepsy, including pediatric use as supported by a treating physician," and recommends "the inclusion of epilepsy as a condition that uses medical marijuana as a treatment option where it is currently available."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.