New York Moves to Import Marijuana-Based Epilepsy Treatment

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New York should allow the importation of a marijuana-based treatment for children with intractable epilepsy from states where the drug is legal, says an editorial published in Newsday.

New York has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder for protection from prosecution so that the substance, called cannabidiol, can be imported. The state made the request under pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups.

In July, medical marijuana became legal in New York. Since that time, three children in the state have died from a rare form of epilepsy that can cause hundreds of seizures a week. The condition is resistant to standard therapies and treatments, but can be treated with cannabidiol, also colloquially known as Charlotte’s Web. Evidence shows that the pot-derivative treatment drastically reduces the amount of seizures in children with intractable epilepsy. It can be ingested in oil form and has no psychoactive effects.

The Justice Department has said it won’t focus anti-marijuana efforts on the sick population, but it will prevent distribution to minor and diversion from states where the drug is legal. If the Justice Department approves New York’s request, it could go against their proposed agenda. However, the benefits are undeniable for children with intractable epilepsy.

New York Moves to Import Marijuana-Based Epilepsy Treatment
New York Moves to Import Marijuana-Based Epilepsy Treatment

State health officials shouldn't be viewed as illegal drug traffickers if they bring a marijuana-based substance into New York to treat children with intractable epilepsy, and editorial in Newsday says. Under pressure from lawmakers and advocacy group for immediate access to the drug, New York has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for protection from prosecution so cannabidiol can be imported from a state where the substance is legal.

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