Girl’s Death Prompts Medical Cannabis Advocates to Demand Emergency Access
New York state medical marijuana advocates are demanding emergency use of cannabis medicine for critically ill patients following the death of a 9-year-old girl who suffered from debilitating seizures, reports Huffington Post.
The girl, Anna Conte, has been at the forefront of New York's medical marijuana debate for months. She had a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome that caused her to suffer from hundreds of debilitating seizures daily.
Cannabis oil has treated children with similar conditions successfully in states that have legalized the drug. Last month, New York legislators passed a medical marijuana bill, but the law doesn’t go into effect for another 18 months or longer. Since the law was enacted, two other children with similar seizure disorders to Conte's have died as well. Medical cannabis advocates are pressuring lawmakers to expedite the process so patients like Conte can be treated with medical cannabis sooner.
"Several more children are likely to die waiting for New York to implement its medical marijuana program," Judy Netherland, a Drug Policy Alliance representative, said in a recent statement. "While not all of these deaths can be prevented by medical marijuana, we have a moral obligation to make this medicine available as soon as possible."
Conte's mother, Wendy, aggressively lobbied legislators, and her family’s efforts are credited for getting the bill to pass.
Medical marijuana strains high in cannabidiol have proven effective in treating seizure disorders. The medicine is ingested in pill or liquid form, making it ideal for children.