Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Americans For Safe Access UNITY 2018 Lobby Days - A Federal Focus:


Safe Access New Mexico & New Mexico’s US Congressional Delegation


This year's conference placed focus on the life-saving role that medical cannabis can play in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic and supporting the bipartisan CARERS Act. In 2017 ASA launched the End Pain, Not Lives campaign, to help protect current medical cannabis programs, remove barriers for people with pain, chronic pain, and Opioid Use Disorder, and to educate medical professionals, service providers, and patients about medical cannabis and pain.

Although numerous research studies show that states with medical cannabis programs have nearly a 40% decrease in opioid overdose deaths, more than 90% of Americans think that cannabis should be made legal, and 46 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia all have some form of a medical cannabis program, cannabis is still not an option for many. Due to the federal-state legal conflict, inadequacies in state laws, and lack of medical professional and patient education, even in states with operating medical cannabis programs, many patients are unable to apply, afford, or benefit from medical cannabis available in their state.

The bipartisan CARERS Act reduces the role of the federal government in formulating drug policy and allows states to make determinations on their own drug policies. Giving the power to decide drug policy to the states reinforces the principles of federalism on which our country was founded. CARERS stands for Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States. The original version of the bill would have ended the drug war, at least with regard to cannabis. This latest version is softer.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical cannabis policies. The bill would also permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe veterans medical cannabis to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions.


The legislation does not legalize medical cannabis in all 50 states; rather, it respects the states’ decisions to legalize medical cannabis and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors, and caregivers in those states.

On Wednesday May 23rd 2018, medical cannabis advocates met with their Congressional Representatives to advocate for the End Pain, Not Lives campaign and supporting the bipartisan CARERS Act. For New Mexico and Safe Access New Mexico, I personally met with the following members offices while in Washington, D.C. :
Senator Tom Udall’s Office, Senator Martin Heinrich’s Office, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan’s Office, and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Office. (Congressman Steve Pearce’s Office scheduler did not respond to the meeting request.)

Here is a run down on New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation and what we discussed.

Each Office was provided a copy of the following:
Medical Cannabis in America- The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book, 115th Congress



This 65 page briefing book is intended for the members of the 115th Congress and the President of the United States to help them make informed decisions on medical cannabis policy. Medical Cannabis Programs serve approximately two million patients under physician supervision. The purpose of this briefing book is to provide members of congress and POTUS the necessary information to make well-informed decisions.

Medical Cannabis as a Tool to Combat Pain and Opioid Crisis



Using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain is an approach that is supported by research and medical professionals, and has demonstrated positive public health outcomes. Thirty states in the US have passed medical cannabis laws and another sixteen have passed more limited laws. Medical cannabis programs on average are serving 2% of the population despite a potential addressable market of 1/3 of the population that are living with chronic pain.

Chronic Pain is also part of over 300 different debilitating health conditions.

US Senate - Hart Building

Congressmember's name: Rep. Ben Ray Luján
https://lujan.house.gov/

*Provided a copy of: ‘Medical Cannabis in America: The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book’

Does the Member have a position on the CARERS Act?
Yes, supports CARERS Act but not a Co-Sponsor.

Ending Federal Interference: Does your Member support preventing the federal government from interfering with state medical cannabis programs?
Yes

Federal Barriers to Research: Does the Member support advancing medical cannabis research by eliminating the DEA-mandate “NIDA-monopoly” on federal research supplies of marijuana?
Yes

Removing CBD from the Controlled Substance Act: Does the Member support making CBD-rich products derived from cannabis legal to sell, possess, and transport without a physician’s recommendation?
Yes

Equal Access for Veterans: Does the Member support allowing V.A. doctors to write medical cannabis recommendations in states that have such programs?
Yes

Opioid Epidemic: Was the member receptive to using cannabis as a tool in the opioid epidemic?
Yes

State Issues and Policy Discussed:
Governor’s Race, Expansion of the State’s Medical Cannabis Program, concerns rec use legalization would have on medical, and ‘Program Participants Should Be Able To Use Medical Cannabis At Schools’
http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2018/04/program-participants-should-be-able-to.html

US Senate - Hart Building 

Congressmember's name: Senator Tom Udall
https://www.tomudall.senate.gov/

*Provided a copy of: ‘Medical Cannabis in America: The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book’

Does the Member have a position on the CARERS Act?
Yes, supports CARERS and is a current Co-Sponsor

Ending Federal Interference: Does your Member support preventing the federal government from interfering with state medical cannabis programs?
Yes

Federal Barriers to Research: Does the Member support advancing medical cannabis research by eliminating the DEA-mandate “NIDA-monopoly” on federal research supplies of marijuana?
Yes

Removing CBD from the Controlled Substance Act: Does the Member support making CBD-rich products derived from cannabis legal to sell, possess, and transport without a physician’s recommendation?
Yes

Equal Access for Veterans: Does the Member support allowing V.A. doctors to write medical cannabis recommendations in states that have such programs?
Yes

Opioid Epidemic: Was the member receptive to using cannabis as a tool in the opioid epidemic?
Yes

State Issues and Policy Discussed:
Governor’s Race, Expansion of the State’s Medical Cannabis Program, concerns rec use legalization would have on medical, and ‘Program Participants Should Be Able To Use Medical Cannabis At Schools’
http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2018/04/program-participants-should-be-able-to.html

US Senate - Hart Building

Congressmember's name: Senator Martin Heinrich
https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/

*Provided a copy of: ‘Medical Cannabis in America: The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book’

Does the Member have a position on the CARERS Act?
Yes, supports CARERS but not a co-sponsor

Ending Federal Interference: Does your Member support preventing the federal government from interfering with state medical cannabis programs?
Yes

Federal Barriers to Research: Does the Member support advancing medical cannabis research by eliminating the DEA-mandate “NIDA-monopoly” on federal research supplies of marijuana?
Yes

Removing CBD from the Controlled Substance Act: Does the Member support making CBD-rich products derived from cannabis legal to sell, possess, and transport without a physician’s recommendation?
Yes

Equal Access for Veterans: Does the Member support allowing V.A. doctors to write medical cannabis recommendations in states that have such programs?
Yes

Opioid Epidemic: Was the member receptive to using cannabis as a tool in the opioid epidemic?
Yes

State Issues and Policy Discussed:
Governor’s Race, Expansion of the State’s Medical Cannabis Program, concerns rec use legalization would have on medical, and ‘Program Participants Should Be Able To Use Medical Cannabis At Schools’
http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2018/04/program-participants-should-be-able-to.html



Congressmember's name: Michelle Lujan Grisham
https://lujangrisham.house.gov/

*Provided a copy of: ‘Medical Cannabis in America: The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book’

Does the Member have a position on the CARERS Act?
Yes, supports CARERS and is current co-sponsor

Ending Federal Interference: Does your Member support preventing the federal government from interfering with state medical cannabis programs?
Yes

Federal Barriers to Research: Does the Member support advancing medical cannabis research by eliminating the DEA-mandate “NIDA-monopoly” on federal research supplies of marijuana?
Yes

Removing CBD from the Controlled Substance Act: Does the Member support making CBD-rich products derived from cannabis legal to sell, possess, and transport without a physician’s recommendation?
Yes

Equal Access for Veterans: Does the Member support allowing V.A. doctors to write medical cannabis recommendations in states that have such programs?
Yes

Opioid Epidemic: Was the member receptive to using cannabis as a tool in the opioid epidemic?
Yes

State Issues and Policy Discussed:
Governor’s Race, Expansion of the State’s Medical Cannabis Program, concerns rec use legalization would have on medical, and ‘Program Participants Should Be Able To Use Medical Cannabis At Schools’
http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2018/04/program-participants-should-be-able-to.html


“We have made amazing progress in the last 16 years, but there will always be more work and improvements to make to meet our goals to help combat this crisis.” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, “For ASA, ensuring safe and legal access means that we keep fighting until ALL patients who would benefit from medical cannabis are allowed access to their medicine, without fear of losing any of their civil rights and protections granted to everyone else.”


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Americans For Safe Access Capitol Hill Press Conference - Unity 2018


End Pain. Not Lives! 



WASHINGTON, DC ~ May 23rd 2018 -- Proponents of medical cannabis descended on the U.S. Capitol in droves this past Wednesday, saying that their efforts are moving toward success.

Two pro-cannabis groups, the National Cannabis Industry Association and Americans for Safe Access, held press conferences and met with federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Combined, they brought just about 420 people to Washington. For Americans For Safe Access, this year's conference will focus on the life-saving role that medical cannabis can play in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic. 

In 2017 ASA launched the End Pain, Not Lives campaign, to help protect current medical cannabis programs, remove barriers for people with pain, chronic pain, and Opioid Use Disorder, and to educate medical professionals, service providers, and patients about medical cannabis and pain.

Although numerous research studies show that states with medical cannabis programs have nearly a 40% decrease in opioid overdose deaths, more than 90% of Americans think that cannabis should be made legal, and 46 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia all have some form of a medical cannabis program, cannabis is still not an option for many. Due to the federal-state legal conflict, inadequacies in state laws, and lack of medical professional and patient education, even in states with operating medical cannabis programs, many patients are unable to apply, afford, or benefit from medical cannabis available in their state.


Patrick Saint

Patrick Saint from Twenty22Many-Olympia spoke, telling lawmakers;
“You (Lawmakers) can not jump on the “Let’s End the Veteran Suicide Epidemic” Band Wagon and not also fully support Medical Cannabis Legalization and Access for all Veterans in all States... Every so called lawmaker who does not have Ending the Veteran Suicide Epidemic on the top of his or her legislative agenda....

SHAME ON YOU!

We have a Vietnam Memorial Wall in honor of those who gave all and sacrificed all... Maybe someday there will be a Memorial Wall for all Veteran Suicides.... Sadly however, It will need to be much bigger and longer....

When will this craziness end?”

"Public opinion is changing on this issue," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the chief sponsor of the Medical Cannabis Research Act, which authorizes research into the medical benefits of marijuana. "Congress is behind. We need to catch up."

Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL) unveiled the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 on April 26th 2018. The legislation, which was introduced with widespread bipartisan support, finally allows researchers to study the potential cures medical cannabis may unlock. Further scientific research on medical cannabis could unlock cures for veterans, the chronically ill, and the elderly. Rep. Gaetz’s legislation does not change the legal status of cannabis, and does not interfere with federal, state, or local cannabis laws. The following Members of Congress also participated in the press conference: Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Lou Correa (CA-46), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) and Barbara Lee (CA-13).

Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL) 

“Cannabis reform has always faced a “catch 22” in congress,” said Gaetz, explaining that they (lawmakers) can’t change the law without having demonstrated research. “But, often times we cannot perform research without changing the law. Our bill ends this log jam, by opening access to cannabis research and pursuing potential cures wherever we may find them.”

The Medical Cannabis Research Act has a number of provisions. One would increase the amount of research grade medical cannabis, requiring at least three producers. Currently, there’s just one.

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN)

Also, the bill would create a “safe harbor” for academic and medical institutions that want to engage in medical cannabis research, without risking other federal grants they receive. And, it would allow for a more collaborative environment between researchers and private sector innovators.

The NFL recently rejected the first-ever request from a player for a “therapeutic use exemption” to the league’s medical cannabis ban. Mike James, a veteran NFL running back, put his career on the line to go public about his use of cannabis for football-related injuries.

Sharing his story in a recent CNN documentary, James revealed that the league rejected his doctor’s recommendation of medical marijuana for his chronic pain. The player is just one in a growing chorus of pro-football athletes advocating for cannabis as an alternative to dangerous opioids, often overprescribed by sports medicine doctors. But James is the first to formally request an exemption from the NFL’s ban and now, as an unsigned agent, has placed his career in jeopardy.

Mike James

“We know how the NFL feels about marijuana,” James said. “And we know young men’s livelihoods are in the balance. They fear losing this [career] and not being able to take care of their family. What I’m trying to do is open the door, open pathways to give guys a plan.”

Doctors for Cannabis Regulation backed James in his request for an exemption. The nonprofit advocacy group, whose steering committee features former players Ricky Williams, Eugene Monroe and current Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan, has consistently lobbied the NFL to change its marijuana policies and was in touch with the NFL Players Association ahead of James’ filing, according to the Washington Post.

Currently, 30 states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized medical cannabis. However, federal law leaves doctors who prescribe, patients who use, and businesses that sell medical cannabis vulnerable to federal arrest and prosecution. As a currently classified Schedule I drug, federal law also severely restricts medical cannabis research, which is desperately needed to learn more about the substance’s medicinal properties.

CARERS Act

The bipartisan CARERS Act reduces the role of the federal government in formulating drug policy and allows states to make determinations on their own drug policies. Giving the power to decide drug policy to the states reinforces the principles of federalism on which our country was founded. CARERS stands for Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States. The original version of the bill would have ended the drug war, at least with regard to cannabis. This latest version is softer.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical cannabis policies. The bill would also permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe veterans medical cannabis to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions.

The legislation does not legalize medical cannabis in all 50 states; rather, it respects the states’ decisions to legalize medical cannabis and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors, and caregivers in those states.

“Federal marijuana policy has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence, and compassion,” said Senator Booker. "This bill will help ensure that people who can benefit from medical marijuana – from children suffering from chronic illnesses to veterans battling PTSD – can do so without worrying about the federal government standing in the way.”



Specifically, the CARERS Act would:

(1) Recognize States’ Responsibility to Set Medical Cannabis Policy & Eliminate Potential Federal Prosecution

The CARERS Act amends the Controlled Substances Act so that states can set their own medical cannabis policies. The patients, providers, and businesses participating in state medical cannabis programs will no longer be in violation of federal law and vulnerable to federal prosecution.

(2) Allow States to Import Cannabidiol (CBD), Recognized Treatment for Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

The CARERS Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to remove specific strains of CBD oil from the federal of definition of cannabis. This change will allow youth suffering from intractable epilepsy to gain access to the medicine they need to control their seizures.

(3) Provide Veterans Access

Current law prohibits doctors in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities from prescribing medical cannabis. The CARERS Act would allow VA doctors in states where medical cannabis is legal to recommend medical cannabis to military veterans.

(4) Expand Opportunities for Research

The CARERS Act removes unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for researchers to gain government approval to undertake important research on cannabis and creates a system for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage research.
"The CARERS Act would protect patients like me," said 17 year-old Jennifer Collins of Fairfax, Virginia, who spoke at the press conference introducing the bill. Jennifer uses medical cannabis to treat her epilepsy. "Medical cannabis has reduced my absence seizures, eliminated my grand mal seizures, and enabled me to be almost completely off the pharmaceuticals that made me suffer so many horrible side-effects. It gave me my life back."


The CARERS Act has the support of more than 20 health, veteran and policy organizations, including: American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Safe Access, Compassionate Care NY, Coalition for Medical Marijuana NJ, Drug Policy Alliance, Housing Works, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, MS Resources of Central New York, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, NY Physicians for Compassionate Care, Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis, Patients Out of Time, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, The American Cannabis Nurses Association, The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Third Way, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, Veterans for Peace and Veterans for Safe Access and Compassionate Care.

Please Tell Your US Congressional Members to Support, 
Vote for, and to Co-Sponsor
the CARERS Act!
http://org.salsalabs.com/o/182/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=21928


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Medical Cannabis Patients, Medical Professionals, Advocates, and Industry Leaders Converge at National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in D.C.







May 22 - May 25, 2018
Contact: Debbie Churgai | 202-857-4272 x.8 | debbie@safeaccessnow.org

WASHINGTON, DC — Starting on Tuesday, May 22nd and running until Friday, May 25th, medical cannabis patients, advocates, medical and legal professionals, and industry business leaders will gather at Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity conference in Washington, D.C. to learn and exchange ideas about how to navigate and steer medical cannabis policy in this ever-changing political landscape.

What: 6th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference
Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC,
When: Tuesday, May 22nd through Friday, May 25th

This year's conference will focus on the life-saving role that medical cannabis can play in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic. In 2017 ASA launched the End Pain, Not Lives campaign, to help protect current medical cannabis programs, remove barriers for people with pain, chronic pain, and Opioid Use Disorder, and to educate medical professionals, service providers, and patients about medical cannabis and pain.

Although numerous research studies show that states with medical cannabis programs have nearly a 40% decrease in opioid overdose deaths, more than 90% of Americans think that cannabis should be made legal, and 46 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia all have some form of a medical cannabis program, cannabis is still not an option for many. Due to the federal-state legal conflict, inadequacies in state laws, and lack of medical professional and patient education, even in states with operating medical cannabis programs, many patients are unable to apply, afford, or benefit from medical cannabis available in their state.

On Friday morning, May 25th, ASA will hold a special Patient Focused Certification (PFC) training Course on Federal Law Enforcement Interaction and Raid Preparedness. This training will be open for conference participants as well as non participants. This training will teach participants how to be prepared for law enforcement interactions of all kinds. Patients, providers, or anyone working in the medical cannabis industry, will learn how to handle any encounter with the law.

Overview of Schedule (link to full schedule)



TUESDAY
8:00 pm Welcome Reception

WEDNESDAY
Lobby Day
12:00 pm Press Conference (East Front, Area 10 Capitol Hill lawn)
8:00 pm VIP Awards Reception and Dinner (link to recipients)

THURSDAY
Opioid Focused Plenaries
9:15 am “The Life She Deserves” Screening and Q&A with Production Team
10:00 am Plenaries (see list of speakers below)

FRIDAY
9:00 am Federal Law Enforcement Interaction and Raid Training

“We have made amazing progress in the last 16 years, but there will always be more work and improvements to make to meet our goals to help combat this crisis.” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, “For ASA, ensuring safe and legal access means that we keep fighting until ALL patients who would benefit from medical cannabis are allowed access to their medicine, without fear of losing any of their civil rights and protections granted to everyone else.”


**** Press Passes Now Available****



AFI for Speakers and VIP Attendees

Diana Dodson - Florida Advocate
Diana received a blood product in 1985 that contained HIV. In 1998, she developed AIDS. Diana was first recommended cannabis by her doctor in 1998 for the extreme nausea that came with taking her HIV medications. She later discovered that cannabis was mitigating the pain that came from neuropathy. Diana first became an activist for medical cannabis while caring for her brother who passed away in 1995 from AIDS. In 1999, she became a board member of the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz California. Diana was at the Wamm Garden the morning of the DEA raid. She locked the gate on the DEA, and negotiated the release of Valerie and Mike Corral. Diana has spent uncounted hours sharing her story with law enforcement and legislators advocating and educating about medical cannabis. Most recently Diana has worked in Florida to help pass Amendment 2 that allows medical cannabis for patients in the state of Florida. Diana is currently a plaintiff against the state of Florida for all patients to be allowed to smoke cannabis as the medication delivery method of choice.

Don Duncan - Board Member, Americans for Safe Access
Don Duncan has served on the Board of Directors since he co-founded American for Safe Access in 2002. As California Director, he is coordinating the grassroots and grasstops campaign to fully implement the states medical cannabis laws, respond to federal interference, and build a broader and more powerful coalition for medical cannabis in California. Mr. Duncan was instrumental in galvanizing grassroots resistance to federal raids and in seeding local self-regulatory alliances for medical cannabis providers statewide. He has worked closely with elected officials, law enforcement, collective operators, and community members in local implementation efforts in several California cities and counties, and is currently working with lawmakers in Sacramento to adopt legislation to expand rights for patients.

Kendra Fershee - 2018 Democratic Nominee, 1st District - West Virginia
Kendra Fershee is internationally recognized for her expertise in family law and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Family Law Quarterly, the scholarly journal published by the ABA Section of Family Law. Professor Fershee has been teaching law students since 2006 in the areas of Family Law, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Legal Writing, Research and Analysis, and Employment Discrimination. Before teaching, Professor Fershee worked as a litigation associate, focusing on Securities Litigation at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, and McCloy in Washington, D.C., and New York. She also handled pro bono family law matters while in practice. Before law school, Professor Fershee worked as a political organizer in Washington, D.C., and then Los Angeles, for a civil liberties organization focusing on first amendment, public education, and civil rights issues. Her interests started to draw her toward law school, so she set out for New Orleans to attend Tulane Law School, where graduated cum laude and was elected Senior Managing Editor of the Tulane Law Review. Professor Fershee earned her bachelor’s degree in 1995 from the University of Michigan, where she studied communications and women’s studies.

Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD - Editor-in-Chief, TheAnswerPage.com
Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD is a board-certified physician specializing in anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine. She received a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Duke University School of Engineering and a Medical Degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Following an anesthesiology residency and fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, she was an attending anesthesiologist at Women and Infants Hospital, Brown University Medical School. Since 2009, Dr. Fisher-Corn has served as Editor-in-Chief of TheAnswerPage.com. In this role, she has overseen the creation of hundreds of continuing medical education courses in multiple areas of medicine, including Perioperative & Hospital Medicine, Palliative Care, Opioid Prescribing & Risk Management, Medical Marijuana and Medical Statistics. In addition, she has co-created the “New York State Practitioner Education-Medical Use of Marijuana Course,” “Florida Physicians Low-THC Cannabis Course,” “Florida Physician Cannabis Course,” “Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Required Course,” The Massachusetts Medical Society’s “Comprehensive Cannabis Curriculum” and a six-module opioid prescribing risk management course. At the recommendation of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the content created by Dr. Fisher-Corn and TheAnswerPage is featured in Israel’s National Healthcare Provider Cannabis Program. In 2017 Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD along with Stephen B. Corn, MD were the 2017 co-recipients of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine’s “Special Award for Major Contributions to the Reintroduction of Cannabis as Medicine.”

Trish Flaster - Executive Director, Botanical Liaisons
Trish is Executive Director of Botanical Liaisons, LLC, an ethnobotanical consulting firm providing botanical standards to industry, academicians and government agencies, international botanical sourcing, sustainable development of botanical ingredients, intellectual property rights, development and implementation of Botanical Quality Assurance programs, and botanical research that results in unique products. She collaborates with scientists on all continents. She developed the first virtual herbarium for economic plants. She is also co-founder of IDDI, ingedientID.com, A compliance based company helping companies to confirm ID and specifications required by FDA GMPs we are focused on reviewing all documents to confirm identification, transparency and chain of custody in the dietary supplement industry. ID verified, Spec Verified, Vendor Verified, Sustainability are forms we provide compliant customers. Skilled in both botanical and chemical experience, we also consult in the Cannabis Industry on testing, supply chain and anything related to quality and research.



Deb Kimless, MD - Medical Director, ForwardGro
Dr. Debra Kimless is the medical director for ForwardGro. She has spent the past three years to immersing herself in all aspects of medical cannabis, including scientific and medical applications for the treatment of patients. She has traveled the world studying under the most respected experts in cannabis medicine and science, most notably, in both the Netherlands and in Israel, two countries regarded as best practice models in the use of medical cannabis. Kimless is widely regarded by her peers as one of the most experienced physicians specializing in the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”), micro-dose, topical therapies, and how medical cannabis can be beneficial to help treat medical conditions as well as reduce or replace opioids for pain relief. She is frequently invited to speak at industry leading conferences and symposiums regarding the use of medical cannabis, and shares her knowledge by consulting with patients in legal states pro bono, to introduce cannabis as a medicinal option. She has first-hand experience in successfully aiding patients with various medical conditions. She helps patients tailor their treatment plans by using different methods of administration and cannabinoid ratios, which influence patient response.

Pavel Kubů - Chief Executive Officer International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI)
Pavel Kubů is an expert in the fields of medical informatics and addictology. In 2001, he graduated in general medicine with a focus on disease prevention and public health from the Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University. Since 2005 he has been working for the Intel Corporation as a Business Development Manager, leading projects of the Intel World Ahead Programme for Healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe and Education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.In 2006 he was appointed as chair of the Ethics Commission at the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction. Pavel has served since 2007 as a board member of the Czech National Forum for eHealth, from 2012 to 2015 as a member of the steering committee of the Czech Healthcare Forum and since 2013 as a board member of the medical cannabis patients’ organisation KOPAC. In these non-profit NGOs he is primarily devoted to the education of healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers and support for the research and development of new treatment and preventive methods. In 2014 he became a cofounding member of Konomed s.r.o., a company that focuses on research and development in the field of medical cannabis.

Sarah Galbraith Laucks - Director Education and Events, Abilities Expo
Sarah Galbraith Laucks is an education and event production specialist in the disability, health and wellness communities. She is a skilled developer of education programming for conferences, events and shows. She thrives on identifying attendee interests and needs, and crafting programs that fulfill those objectives. She is also a nationally recognized expert in the planning of meetings, conferences and events that are accessible for people with disabilities. Her professional experience is in the hotel, meeting, and marketing industries. She has worked extensively with VIPs and speakers, managing details for the likes of actor Henry Winkler, figure skater Kurt Browning, Dr. Temple Grandin, and international bestselling author Rupert Isaacson. As a child her best friend was an adult with intellectual disabilities. That experience instilled in Sarah a love of diversity and respect for the abilities of all people. She has a Bachelors of Science in Education summa cum laude from Susquehanna University. She blogs about holistic wellness and children’s literature, and is an avid advocate for the importance of play in our lives. Her personal time is focused on her family and her passions – books, figure skating, and Legos.

Senator Daylin Leach - Pennsylvania State Senator, 17th District
Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), a former attorney and professor, has been a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly since winning his seat in the House of Representatives in 2002. In 2008, he was elected Senator of the 17th District. He is currently the Minority Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Appropriations, Education, Environmental Resources and Energy, Labor and Industry, and State Government Committees. Daylin is the Pennsylvania legislature’s leading voice on progressive issues. He has championed countless important causes, including marriage equality, repealing the Voter ID law, environmental stewardship, redistricting reform, and campaign finance reform. He has been recognized by advocacy organizations for his work on the environment, education, animal rights, and human rights. Many of his proposals have been enacted into law, including a ban on the shackling of pregnant prisoners, new efficiency standards for PA’s fleet of automobiles, and a protocol for medical marijuana use in the Commonwealth. Daylin is a graduate of Temple University and the University of Houston Law Center. He is married to Jennifer Anne Mirak, a psychologist, with whom he has two children, Brennan and Justin.

Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA - Owner and General Manager, National Holistic Healing Center Medical Marijuana Dispensary (NHHC)
Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Under her leadership, NHHC has earned $6.5M in annual revenues in 3 years with 98% retention, and adding 100+ new patients/month. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment. Dr. Macias serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on the growth of the industry in existing and emerging markets. She also educates through her outreach platform with Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 50,000+ people and potential patients. Dr. Macias is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health. Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University, a state-funded university, which was granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Louisiana.

Debby Miran - Former Commissioner, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
Former commissioner, Deborah Miran, was a member of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from 2013- 2016. While serving on the commission, she was also a member of the executive committee, policy, and research subcommittees, and was chair of the education subcommittee. She was responsible for developing education programs for doctors and patients, and was also an integral part of crafting the current regulations. Prior to the commission she was president and founder of Miran Consulting, Inc. There she advised both brand and generic drug makers on the FDA approval process. Ms. Miran was senior director of regulatory affairs for Alpharma, a generic drug manufacturer, where she directed the submission activities for new and abbreviated new drug applications to the FDA. She has spent over 30 years in the US pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Miran received her bachelor of science in chemistry from Iowa State University.



Daniel O’Donnell - New York State Assemblymember, 69th District
Daniel O’Donnell, the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly, has been a progressive voice advocating fair and sensible legislation since he was elected to represent the 69th District in 2002. His district includes Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side. Born in Queens and raised with his four siblings in Commack, Long Island, O’Donnell put himself through college and law school, earning a B.A. in public affairs from George Washington University and a law degree from CUNY Law School. After seven years as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society, he opened his own public interest law firm on the Upper West Side. During his tenure in the Assembly he has been the prime sponsor of several trailblazing bills, most notably the Marriage Equality Act, a bill O’Donnell led to passage in the Assembly five times before it was finally signed into law in June 2011. He was also the prime sponsor of New York’s anti-bullying legislation, the Dignity for All Students Act, which requires public schools in New York to combat bias-based bullying and harassment. He and his husband, John Banta, live in Morningside Heights.

Julie Prom - Director & Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Illinois Women in Cannabis
Julie Prom has over 30 years of advocacy and education experience in the causes of child safety, medical cannabis, and Veterans issues. She is intimately familiar with PTSD and the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Julie has been a medical cannabis patient since the mid-80s to treat her PTSD and traumatic brain injury symptoms and chronic pain from multiple other injuries suffered in a car crash. Julie currently serves as a Director and the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for Illinois Women in Cannabis and the Illinois Liaison to Americans for Safe Access. Since 2013, Julie has assisted in writing multiple successful medical cannabis applications, standard operating procedures, and compliance documents for over twenty companies in six states. She has assisted opening dispensaries in New York and Illinois.

Ezra Pryor - Heidolph North America Applied Market Specialist
Ezra Pryor is an Applied Markets Specialist and Immediate Past Chair of the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society. Ezra brings both his own experience and the wisdom of Heidolph to the table. For over seven decades, Heidolph has developed a wealth of experience by working in highly regulated pharmaceutical labs, agriculture industry and academia. The new Heidolph Botanical Extraction (HBX) business unit is focused on providing unique solutions that are both efficient and compliant with cannabis industry regulations.

Jeffrey C. Raber, Ph.D. - Founder, The Werc Shop
Dr. Jeffrey C. Raber received his B.S. in biochemistry from Lebanon Valley College, PA and subsequently a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California with an emphasis on developing new synthetic methodologies useful in pharmaceutical drug discovery and manufacturing. Driven by a desire to make a positive contribution to society while creating American jobs Dr. Raber founded The Werc Shop in 2010, an independent laboratory focused on botanical analysis, product development and sustainability with an initial emphasis on serving the unmet public health and safety needs within the medical cannabis community. Dr. Raber’s detailed investigations into the chemistry of cannabis as a medicine have provided him with a unique perspective and knowledge base useful in assisting state and local regulators in the construction and implementation of effective regulatory solutions for the safe and sustainable delivery of medical cannabis to qualified patients. Today The Werc Shop is widely recognized as a leading scientific pioneer and educator in medical cannabis that continues to further everyone’s understanding of the plant and its possible product developments.

Ethan Russo, MD - Director of Research and Development International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI)
Ethan Russo, MD,is a board-certified neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher. Previously, from 2015-2017, he was Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system (“ECS”). From 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals for numerous Phase I-III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy. He is a former president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council. He is author/editor of seven books on cannabis and medicinal herbs, and has also published numerous book chapters, and over fifty articles in neurology, pain management, cannabis, and ethnobotany. He has consulted or lectured on these topics in 38 states and provinces and 33 countries.

Thomas Sadilek - Director of Government Affairs International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI)
Mr. Sadilek recently joined the ICCI in the position of Director of Government Affairs. He brings with him extensive experience from the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in the field of Legal and Illegal Drugs: Represented the Czech Republic in the Horizontal Group on Drugs in Bruxelles; represented the Czech Republic in all drug related meetings in United Nations institutions (Vienna, New York); responsibility for the negotiations of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Outcome Document on behalf of the Czech Republic (held in Vienna from December 2015 – March 2016); represented the Czech Republic in meetings in EU area, Eastern Partnership countries area, occasionally the US; these are related to UN meetings, Council of the EU meetings, Council of Europe meetings.

Christine Stenquist - President Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE)
Christine Stenquist is a brain tumor patient turned medical cannabis advocate. In 1996, she was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma and removal was attempted; 60% of the tumor remains and with it a host of complications. After a decade and a half of a house-bound and bedridden life she approached her doctor about medical cannabis. Finding cannabis to mitigate most of her symptoms she sought out how to gain access. Being a daughter of a narcotics officer she was faced with the dilemma, break the law or change the law. In 2015, she lobbied and testified in support of SB259 Medical Cannabis Act, which failed in the Senate by one vote. After this narrow loss, Christine’s passion was further ignited to see cannabis legislation passed within the State of Utah, and she was determined to make an even greater impact during the following legislative session. Realizing the need for patient lobbyists on Capitol hill, the citizen lobbyist group, TRUCE, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education, was formed to help raise awareness for the need of safe, legal access to cannabis. In the 2016 legislative session, Christine brought patient and caregivers from differing ideologies and conditions together to effectively lobby in support of SB 73, Medical Cannabis Act, outcome yet to be determined. Federal rescheduling of cannabis has also become an area of interest for Christine.



2018 Award Winners (link to award descriptions)
Patient Advocate of the Year - Jennifer Collins
Elected Official of the Year - State Senator Richard Ojeda, West Virginia
Affiliate of the Year - Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) Researcher of the Year - Ryan Vandrey, PhD
Medical Professional of the Year - Carlo Tornatore, MD
Journalist of the Year - David Hodes
Partner Advocate of the Year - Orrick
2018 Courage Award - The Zartler Family
End Pain Not Lives Champion of the Year - U.S. Pain Foundation

# # #
May 17, 2018 | Debbie Churgai

Patients need Congress to pass CARERS so that they have access to the medicine they need.
Click Here to Contact Your Congressional Members Today! http://org.salsalabs.com/o/182/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=21928

Friday, May 18, 2018

In a new documentary short, Brookings looks at the human side of medical cannabis policy


Medical cannabis is an increasingly available, alternative medicine that tens of thousands of Americans are turning to in an effort to get relief from their symptoms. Jennifer Collins is one such patient. On Wednesday, Brookings released “The Life She Deserves,” a documentary short profiling Jennifer’s struggle with an epilepsy disorder and with the public policies that have stood between her and the medical intervention her doctors recommended. In Brookings’s first use of this medium, the film tells both a personal and a policy story, highlighting the human side of a public policy failure.
Jennifer’s Story
At a young age, Jennifer was diagnosed with Jeavons Syndrome, an epilepsy disorder characterized by frequent seizures that often present as a fluttering of the eyes. During these seizures, Jennifer loses awareness of her surroundings. Those smaller seizures—which can number in the hundreds per day—can also cluster into a more serious and dangerous grand mal seizure, of which Jennifer has suffered many.
With the diagnosis, Jennifer’s doctors began a standard pharmaceutical regimen that ultimately culminated in more than a dozen pills daily and maximum adult doses of powerful anti-seizure medications. Those medicines came with side effects that included mania and suicidal ideation. Ultimately, pharmaceuticals were unable to help with Jennifer’s seizures and the side effects became overwhelming. Desperate for a solution, Jennifer’s parents read online about children moving to Colorado to access non-intoxicating, cannabis-based medicines to treat conditions like hers.
“The Life She Deserves” profiles the difficult choices the Collins family faced and explores what many patients and families sacrifice in order to get medical relief. Whether it is for a child with epilepsy, a young woman battling breast cancer, an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, or an elderly woman with chronic arthritis, accessing medical cannabis often requires weighing steep costs against the benefits.
Jennifer is a unique individual who has bravely fought both a chronic condition and a dysfunctional public policy system from a young age. Her story tells us as much about a strong young woman from Virginia facing a significant, ongoing health challenge as it does about a system of laws in which federal policy contradicts both itself and numerous state laws. Her story is one that is relatable to patients and the family members, friends, and colleagues of patients who see what Jennifer and her family have seen: cannabis-based medicines can provide relief in some patients. However, Jennifer’s story is not a unique one.
“The Life She Deserves” shows the overwhelming challenges that government can pose when it comes between doctors and patients, researchers and science. The film also highlights what has become a new normal in this country: the medical cannabis industry. Cannabis growers and sellers are not a group of sinister drug peddlers, operating in the shadows. The film highlights how a husband-wife duo responsibly cultivate cannabis in a heavily regulated system. And the seller is a rabbi who, inspired by his father-in-law’s decades-long battle with MS, opened a family business where he dispenses cannabis to a wide variety of patients—just a stone’s throw from the same institutions of government that label him a narco-trafficker.
Remarkably, in 2018, the idea of medical cannabis has become normal and mainstream. But as we explore in “The Life She Deserves,” the health challenges that draw people to it are devastating and the failure to implement effective policies forces them to make major sacrifices in order to access treatment they need.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Collins, Americans For Safe Access 2018 Patient Advocate of the Year Award winner!
Learn more about her amazing story and join us at the 2018 Unity Conference to meet Jenn and see her receive the award!
2018 Unity Conference Registration Link: 
Jenn has achieved so much in her young life already, we cannot wait to see what she has in store for the future. We are also happy to be able to screen The Life She Deserves, a new documentary about her achievements as a patient and advocate.
A new format for Brookings analysis
It was clear that Brookings needed to explore a new medium beyond the white paper in order to peel back the stigma that continually cloaks medical cannabis. By producing a documentary, we were able to sit across the kitchen table from Beth and Pat Collins, at their home as they shared their difficult journey. We learned what the viewers of this film quickly learn: they’re just two parents who want to give their daughter a normal life. Because of this medium’s ability to create intimacy, the viewer gets see how government policy and the human experience collide to tell a compelling story. And Brookings is in a unique position for storytelling. The institution delivers in-depth analysis that can be presented with the human experience, positive or negative. What Brookings needed was a vehicle for such work. The documentary is precisely that vehicle.
In addition to home videos of Jen’s childhood and footage of Beth Collins testifying at the state legislature, maybe the most poignant moments in the film are of silence. In “The Life She Deserves” Jen reflects on the long road she’s traveled and where she is headed. When she pauses to collect her thoughts, in that silence we can see the severity of what she has been through—an emotion that words could not capture. At that moment we get a rigorously honest look at the pain she has experienced and the strength and courage it took to survive and talk about it. This is the power of storytelling and this is the power of the documentary. We live in a time when many in our country—on both sides of the aisle—see many areas of public policy as broken. Like Jen, millions of Americans feel the effects of those policy failures every day. The opportunity for effective policy storytelling has never been greater, and at Brookings we’re looking forward to telling many more.
Medical Cannabis: A Broken Policy
To those familiar with the world of medical cannabis, it is no secret that public policy in this area is broken. We have written extensively at Brookings about the numerous policy problems including banking, taxes, interstate access, and others. “The Life She Deserves” focuses on some of the most glaring issues facing patients themselves—an often-overlooked area. And the main issue that impacts patients, even more than access, is how little is known about how to maximize the benefits of cannabis to treat different conditions effectively. The U.S. government has made expanding that knowledge extraordinarily difficult.
Beyond the U.S. government declaring that the cannabis is illegal, federal policy also adds layers of bureaucracy that make research into the medical value of cannabis much harder. In fact, researching cannabis is more bureaucratically challenging than researching any other substance designated Schedule I—the nation’s highest level of drug control.
There is no excuse for a government that makes research more difficult to conduct. Those efforts are anti-science and ensure that politics influences the pursuit of scientific answers. Compounding the problem is that as more states pass reforms that label cannabis as medicine, there is increased demand for answers about the substance’s medical value. There is an ever-present and growing need to ask more questions about cannabis, not fewer. As more patients use this substance in an effort to relieve symptoms, the federal government should be committed to helping understand this area of science.
After all, what could the federal government fear from more research? In fact, no one in the nation—regardless of views on cannabis—should oppose expanded research. As we have written before, if you are an avowed opponent of cannabis and believe it is dangerous, it has no medical value, is highly addicting, and is a gateway drug, you should encourage more research that will demonstrate those findings. Those findings would be a wakeup call to many patients and, more importantly, to policy makers at the state level. For those who support medical cannabis and believe it is a miracle drug that can cure everything from a cough to cancer, you, too, should demand more research to demonstrate not simply medical value, but the precise ways in which cannabis interacts with bodily systems to provide relief and cures. Finally, if you don’t really care about cannabis, the current policy should bother you. Federal government intervention in science should terrify you.
When government impedes researchers from asking the questions they believe are important and conducting research in ways that their expertise and medical literature suggest are critical, the substance should not matter. The principle matters. In a time of an unpopular president, an embarrassingly unpopular Congress, and trust in government at near-historic lows, who should you trust to steer the ship of science: a physician and medical researcher from Michigan or a guy who happens to represent Kalamazoo in Congress?
As Patrick and Beth Collins note in “The Life She Deserves,” one of the biggest challenges facing medical cannabis patients is a lack of understanding about exactly which cannabis-based products assist with which conditions. There is also a deficit of information about dosing, interactions, side effects, and a host of other characteristics that patients are used to knowing about medicines that they take. Part of the blame rests with states moving forward to bring to market cannabis-based medicines without their enduring the normal regulatory processes we expect in the United States. However, much of the blame rests with a federal government that has allowed a racially-motivated, institutionally perpetuated policy overwhelm a commonsense approach that would remove unnecessary bureaucracy from blocking research.
Many patients will tell you that there is no question that cannabis helps them (although there are a number of patients who will also say that it does little for them). The biggest question that remains, however, is whether the federal government will stop politicizing research and help facilitate answers to the questions that patients are demanding.
The human cost of leaving patients and families to fend for themselves is clear, in Jen’s case as we see in “The Life She Deserves,” and in countless other households.

By John Hudak and George Burroughs | Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cannabis For Kids: The Children Behind The Debate (Full Documentary)


More parents are turning to medical cannabis oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a cannabis extract with little or none of the psychoactive compound THC, to treat their children who have cancer and epilepsy. The oil is currently legal in dozens of states, but its supply is limited. And the science lags the law—dosing standards haven't been set, and the effects of long-term use are unclear. Follow Penn and Nicole Mattison and their daughter Millie, Tracy and Josh Ryan and their daughter Sophie, and Sarah and David Rowland and their daughter Lily as they navigate the challenges of using CBD oil. 


What Is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is medicine derived from the the plant known scientifically as Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. A full plant spectrum cannabis oil, called an extract or concentrate, contains compounds called cannabinoids that are essential to a healthy, properly functioning endocannabinoid system. The mammalian endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors that connect with cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and THCa.


What Is CBD or Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one such cannabinoid that is currently receiving a lot of attention for its role in the successful treatment of pediatric epilepsy. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t induce the “high” effect that people often attribute with cannabis or its slang moniker marijuana. CBD is often described as having a soothing effect, making it a complimentary treatment for symptoms related to anxiety. Concentrated honey gold CBD oil can also be quite effective in relieving pain.


What Is THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol?
THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis that elicits feelings of euphoria and an overall sense of relaxation. Increased laughter, fatigue, or hunger are examples of side effects that may be experienced by adults when consuming THC or products containing THC. Research indicates that THC oil or medicine in conjunction with other cannabinoids and plant terpenes may be useful in treating health conditions like; PTSD (related to trauma), nausea, inflammation, cancer, sleep apnea, and loss of appetite. 
*It has been know for over 20 years that THC is safe to use in pediatric medicine. 
See Related Article: 'A Look Back And Ahead: Cannabinoid Antiemetic In Pediatric Oncology'


What Is THCa?
THCa or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is the raw form of THC found in the live cannabis plant prior to curing or drying. Once heated, THCa is converted to THC through a process called decarboxylation. THCa can be derived as a healthy dietary supplement by juicing the cannabis plant or from low-temperature extraction processes.

Cannabis vs Industrial Hemp?
Compared to whole plant cannabis, industrial hemp is low in cannabinoid content. A huge amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, raising the risk of contaminants because hemp, a bioaccumulator, draws toxins and heavy metals from soil. The robust terpene profile of whole plant cannabis also enhances the therapeutic benefits of CBD, THC and THCa. NOTE: New genetics of hemp are available that offer a safe solution for topical products or for dietary supplement by users with healthy immune systems. Source: Project CBD


Cannabis For Kids: The Children Behind The Debate (FULL DOCUMENTARY)
by National Geographic 


"Our hands were tied." Millie's Story (Cannabis for Kids, Part 1) | National Geographic

Penn and Nicole Mattison's daughter, Millie, has infantile spasms with hypsarrhythmia, a form of epilepsy. By the time she was four months old she was having upwards of 700 seizures a day. The Mattisons tried numerous medications and diet plans, but Millie didn't improve. After her doctors said they'd tried everything they could, the Mattisons looked to Colorado for an alternative treatment. Penn and Nicole Mattison'



"We have to be the guinea pigs." Sophie's Story (Cannabis for Kids, Part 2) | National Geographic

Tracy and Josh Ryan's daughter, Sophie, was a typical eight-month-old girl until the day her eye began twitching. An MRI showed that she had an optic pathway glioma brain tumor. Given how young she was, the only option was to begin chemotherapy, though the Ryans were told that the tumor would probably shrink only slightly. Convinced that the chemotherapy wasn't doing enough, they began to research other options.



"Meeting her for the first time" Lily's Story (Cannabis for Kids, Part 3) | National Geographic

Sarah and David Rowland's daughter Lily began having seizures when she was just six months old. Diagnosed with a severe case of epilepsy, she continued to have 200 to 300 seizures a day despite heavy medication. When the Ryans were told that the only other option was brain surgery, they began investigating alternative treatments in Colorado.




https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/magazine/150515-ngm-medical-marijuana