There's no downside to cannabis oil

Mar 11, 2014

There is nothing harder than watching a child suffer — especially if there is hope that something could be done.

That’s exactly the situation Harold and Eugenia Franklin find themselves in.

The Canton couple’s daughter, Amanda, who is now 24, has suffered from seizures since she was a baby. A diagnosis has eluded the family after years and years of medical consultations. The 26 different medications prescribed through the years have failed to stop the debilitating seizures, and surgery hasn’t helped either. The medications Amanda currently uses are so strong that is it inevitable they will harm other organs, her physicians warn.

There is one last hope, the Franklins have concluded, but the option is a closed one in North Carolina.

After considerable research, the family has found great promise of help from the use of cannabis oil, a marijuana plant derivative that contains hardly any of the euphoric-producing substance for which the plant is known, but has been shown to be effective in quelling seizures.

The Franklins have approached both Sen. Jim Davis and Rep. Joe Sam Queen, who represent Haywood County in the N.C. General Assembly about changing state law so it would be legal to secure cannabis oil in the state to treat Amanda.

Queen said he is willing to assist where he can, and Davis said he wants to be sure the move is acceptable to law enforcement first. If the opinion of Waynesville Police Chief Bill Hollingsed is any indication, a narrowly tailored bill authorizing the use of cannabis oil with a physician’s prescription isn’t a problem. Hollingsed, who serves on the Governor’s DWI task force, is a good sounding board for this issue considering his extensive work, not only locally, but across the state in addressing the prescription pill problem and driving while impaired issues.

Given the properties of cannabis oil, which make it an unlikely candidate for abuse, as well as its proven ability to provide some good, there is no reason that its use should be banned in North Carolina.

The Franklins could use support in their quest to find a medical solution for their daughter’s condition. The only way that can happen is to convince lawmakers in the state it is the right thing to do.