The Epilepsy Foundation of America has called on federal and state governments to increase access to medical cannabis, and medical cannabis research.
“The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana,” wrote Philip M. Gattone, President & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation, and Warren Lammert, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, in an official statement released this week.
“If an epilepsy patient and their doctor feel that marijuana is their best treatment option then they need to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana and they need that access now”.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects over 2 million Americans, over 1 million of which live with uncontrolled seizures.
The Foundation’s support comes just months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two clinical trials to study the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating children with epilepsy.
“Nothing should stand in the way of patients gaining access to potentially life-saving treatment,” the Foundation says. “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. For people living with severe uncontrolled epilepsy, time is not on their side.”
In addition to calling for increased access to medical cannabis for those with epilepsy, the Foundation also called on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to end restrictions that limit medical cannabis research.