Marijuana Saves Child With Seizures; Others Must Wait

CNN's Sanjay Gupta

Parents of a 5-yr-old Colorado girl who suffered from severe seizures say medical marijuana has saved their child's life.  Footage of the child before and after she was given cannabis was shown Sunday in a documentary, "Weed," aired on CNN hosted by Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon. 

Buoyed by previously published reports and You-Tube videos of the child's remarkable recovery, several New Jersey parents have been pushing for the opportunity to give cannabis to their seriously ill children.   They want Gov. Christie to sign a bill that would pave the way. 

Paige and Matt Figi said in the CNN interview that their daughter, Charlotte, had 300 seizures a week before she was administered drops of cannabis under her tongue a year ago.  She had been in a catatonic state, unable to eat, talk, or walk.  Now, after regularly using cannabis, she has only one seizure every seven days, the parents said.  Footage shows her talking, walking, laughing, riding a bicycle and also a horse. 

Forty-one other children had similar results, according to the documentary. 

Gupta traveled around the world, interviewing other seriously ill patients who got astonishing  results by using cannabis.  In Israel, some studies show the drug has helped sufferers of Crohn's Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and cancer. 

There also are detractors - doctors who say not enough research has been done, as interviewed by Gupta.  The American Academy of Pediatricians also oppose giving it to children.  

Meghan and Brian Wilson, the parents of two-year-old Vivian, who live in Scotch Plains, in North Jersey, have spent the last few months lobbying to get changes in New Jersey's three-year-old marijuana law to make it easier for children to use cannabis.  It's legal in the state for children to use it - in fact Vivian was issued a marijuana card in February because she too suffers from a severe type of epilepsy.  But cannabis is not allowed to be sold in edible form and requires three doctors to sign off on it before a child can obtain it. 

A bill that was overwhelming passed by the legislature is sitting on Gov. Christie's desk.  He has said he is reluctant, but will consider it.  He has until Friday, Aug. 16, to decide.

It's not known whether Christie watched the CNN documentary.