|The dominoes are falling…|
|By Jimmy Mengel | Tuesday, January 12, 2016|
|The dominoes are continuing to fall in the battle to fully legalize marijuana for medical treatments…
Last month I told you about a provision hidden in the federal spending bill that effectively bans the federal government from raiding medical marijuana dispensaries that are acting legally in their own states.
The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment blocks all funding for the Department of Justice and the DEA from ”preventing states from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
It essentially ties the hands of the Feds so that they cannot raid dispensaries or farms that are legally cultivating marijuana for medicinal purposes.
This was a huge win for states’ rights advocates and medical marijuana proponents.
You see, Feds had been raiding legally operating farms and dispensaries that had been cultivating the substance for HIV and cancer patients. One raid in Modesto, California destroyed an entire supply of marijuana plants that was going to be turned into medicine for children.
“It’s devastating,” said a Modesto-area man whose 18-month-old son was suffering from over a hundred seizures per day before his successful treatment with medical marijuana.
“This has saved my son’s life. Now what are we supposed to do?”
Thankfully, it looks like these raids are now going to be stopped entirely when it comes to supplying marijuana for medical trials. Here’s the press release:
This is important for a few key reasons…
One of which is there are very few large-scale studies that have taken place in the U.S. due to the chilling effect of possible raids. And while most doctors say they would be comfortable prescribing medical marijuana to patients in need, they would be far more likely to do so if more large-scale studies and trials were conducted to help prove the case for marijuana as a medicine.
The latest action from the DEA will help remove many of the barriers standing in the way of scientific research into the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant that may help children with severe epileptic seizures and other conditions.
Here’s the story of one child whose life has been completely saved by medical marijuana…
I want to introduce you to Ciara O’Driscoll, a happy little girl with a brilliant smile who loves ballet and tap dancing. Here she is:
When she was born, her family was overjoyed at their beautiful baby girl. But everything changed on June 30th 2005. During a routine trip to the grocery store, Ciara slumped over in the shopping cart. Her mother thought she was simply playing a game with her, so she propped her back up in the cart. She slumped over again.
That’s when her mother noticed the shaking.
Ciara was having her first seizure.
After consulting with doctors and running a series of tests and even a spinal tap, they diagnosed Ciara with febrile seizures, which can happen to infants when they have a fever. They sent Ciara home without medications.
But one month later, the family was heading to a bridal shower for a friend. The car ride went smoothly, but when they arrived, Ciara had a seizure that lasted a terrifying 45 minutes… and they just kept getting worse from there. Some of Ciara’s seizures lasted over an hour and a half. On the worst days, she could have over one hundred seizures in one given day.
She underwent another round of tests. Once the new test results finally came in, the doctors came up with a chilling diagnosis: Dravet Syndrome.
It is a potentially deadly form of epilepsy, and it only gets worse over time. The O’Driscolls were devastated. They started to realize that their little girl wouldn’t go to college. She wouldn’t get married. She may not even live past childhood.
The various medications that doctors tried had little to no effect. This is a parent’s worst nightmare.
Recent studies have shown that Dravet Syndrome can be treated with CBDs from the marijuana plant.
It was only modern scare tactics and government overreach that banned it in the first place. Thankfully for children like Ciara, those prejudices are going away and clinical evidence should start piling up.
Charlotte Figi, a Colorado child with Dravet Syndrome, was experiencing 300 grand mal seizures every week. Her parents tried everything. They even considered experimental drugs used on dogs.
But after learning about a young boy who had success with cannabis treatments, they decided to give it a try.
“When she didn’t have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign,” her mother said. “And I thought well, ‘Let’s go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.’ ”
Charlotte’s seizures stopped for an entire week.
She continued on a cannabis oil treatment and now she’s down to a manageable two or three seizures per month. Her battle even gave birth to a strand of high CDB marijuana named “Charlotte’s Web.”
Her father is adamant about the drug’s effectiveness. “I want to scream it from the rooftops. I want other people, other parents, to know that this is a viable option.”
Those screams are finally being heard. In fact, the FDA recently gave the green light to develop a marijuana-based solution for Ciara’s condition.
The FDA has granted “Fast Track” designation for its pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) treatment of Dravet Syndrome. Cannabidiol is one of at least 60 active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. And while tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound that gets users “high”, CBD has no psychoactive effects, but has been shown to “quiet the excessive electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures.”
The FDA only gives this designation when a drug can treat a serious condition that currently has unaddressed medical needs.
This groundbreaking company will conduct both a Phase I trial in epilepsy patients and a Phase III clinical trial in patients suffering from Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome, another rare form of pediatric epilepsy.
If trials pan out, this company could unlock a safe treatment for these horrible conditions that is effective and free of some of the worst side effects. Right now, heavy medications for pediatric epilepsy have side effects that can permanently damage a child’s developing liver, kidneys, and other organs.
Marijuana-based medicines, however, are well-known to have little to no side effects.
And thankfully, now these companies won’t have to worry about their trials being raided by the Feds.
If this company is successful, it will only help pull back the stigma of medical marijuana, and open it up to address a number of other medical problems. You see, marijuana-based medicines aren’t only helpful for esoteric conditions like Ciara’s…
Marijuana-based treatments have shown promise in far-reaching medical conditions like:
Those are each huge markets. And it has shown remarkable promise in each field.
Before making any judgments about marijuana-based medication, I urge you to watch the documentaryCiara’s Light for a real-life look into the horrors of Dravet Syndrome.
As a father of two children myself, I cannot imagine the helplessness that parents must feel when trying to help their children through something as traumatic as this. Any treatment that will spare little girls and boys from the ravages of Dravet Syndrome — especially a natural one with far fewer side effects — needs to be embraced and encouraged, regardless of any stigma associated with a “drug.”
And with most of the major obstacles finally cleared out of the way, companies can safely develop these treatments. That will not only be a miracle for kids like Ciara and Charlotte, but will also represent one of the best investments for years to come.
It’s not every day that you can invest in something so powerful and valuable to humanity.
Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the Investment Director of the personal finance advisoryThe Crow’s Nest. You may also know him as the architect behind the wildly popular finance and investing website Wealth Wire, where he’s brought readers the stories behind the mainstream financial news each and every day. For more on Jimmy, check out his editor’s page.