Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of Tom Brite’s Medical Marijuana Miracle column. His previous column can be found by visiting our website at www.pleasantonexpress.com.
My moment of true determination came after driving all night from San Antonio to Abilene to Dallas. It was 5:30 a.m. when I arrived at the Dallas hospital. The doctors at the hospital had been able to stop his seizures but the effect of what had happened was obvious. Alan looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Dad, these seizures are ruining my life.” It was at that point that I felt helpless and had my first doubt that Alan would be able to complete his college education. Even worse, I began to think that going on government disability would be his future. But God had a different plan.
After hours of searching the internet, we found a reference to a neurologist in Sarasota, Florida, who used a marijuana based cream to treat seizure patients. Florida is a state in which medical marijuana is legal. This simple cream, which is rubbed into the back of the neck twice a day had promising results with his patients in slowing the frequency or even stopping the onset of seizures. It has no hallucinogenic effects and is no different than rubbing a small amount of lotion into your neck. After an appointment with this doctor and seeing the ability of this cream to lower the spikes in brain activity which causes seizures, we knew this was a promising treatment for Alan’s seizures.
The problem was obvious though. Marijuana in any form is illegal in Texas. There are no exceptions, even for medical treatment. As parents, we were faced with the decision of trying an illegal treatment which might relieve Alan’s seizures or observe state law and let the seizures continue. After reflecting on that moment in the hospital room in Dallas, the decision was easy. Alan began his regimen of using the cream twice a day in June 2014. Alan’s pattern of seizures had been predictable. He would go a month, maybe two, without a seizure and then a cluster of two to three would occur.
Medical marijuana is not fringe science. The following is a partial list of medical organizations which endorse medical marijuana: New England Journal of Medicine; American Academy of Family Physicians; Multiple Sclerosis Society and numerous state medical associations. Currently, there are 29 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized some form of medical marijuana even though marijuana in any form remains illegal under Federal law.
One month, two months, three months. Alan continued to use his cream, in addition to his regular seizure medicines. Then, Alan had his first semester that was totally seizure free. This was followed by another, then another. With tears in my eyes, I can tell you that the seizure that Alan had in March 2014 was his last seizure! He has been seizure free for over three years now. The only thing different that Alan has done is add this marijuana based cream to his medicine regimen.
On May 13, 2017, I stood behind Alan and placed his academic hood on his shoulders as he graduated from ACU with a degree in Political Science and Business. There is no doubt in my mind that had we not chosen to use medical marijuana, that day would have never happened.
Here is the issue – we are criminals under Texas law. I will admit it. As a parent who has seen this result, I will break our archaic law every day of the week and twice on Sundays to get Alan the results that he has seen. No one is injured by his use of this cream and a life has been saved. Sadly, the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott refuse to do anything to help the countless thousands of Texans who could be helped by medical marijuana. Perhaps one day sanity will prevail in Austin!
Tom Brite is a Pleasanton Express guest columnist. You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.