It’s passed the House, now let’s lobby the Senate.
As the Alabama affiliate of the National Epilepsy Foundation, we would like to help push this bill through to help some of the Alabamians get the treatment they need to overcome the barriers of living with epilepsy. Our mission since 1972 has been to educate, dispel myths, bring awareness and education to the public, counsel and guidance and direct support of those that live with the heartbreak of seizures.
Currently our website, www.efala.org, has a section “C.A.F.E. Alabama” (Compassionate Access For Epilepsy) which calls for public policy changes that will support limited use of CBD [cannabidiol] oil in Alabama for the treatment of severe epilepsy, as directed and guided by physicians and state guidelines. We would also like to see state-regulated cultivation and production.
CBD oil is especially effective in the treatment of Dravet Syndrome as well as treating the 20 percent to 30 percent of those persons suffering with epilepsy who do not respond to any medication or surgery. Imagine that if some of these people with epilepsy can use CBD oil to control their seizures, they would be able to become productive citizens and pay into a system that has been supporting them for years.
Babies and children that have constant seizures will eventually suffer various forms of paralysis and mental impairment. These children will be a burden to the Alabama taxpayers for the rest of their lives. There is a huge economic incentive to the state of Alabama to pass this bill.
We understand that CBD oil is not the panacea for all seizures for all people, but for the 20 percent or more of people who do not respond to current seizure medications this could be a miracle for them and their caregivers. We have support from the National Epilepsy Foundation and the American Epilepsy Society, and the Alabama Alliance of Pediatricians have stopped their opposition since the strong and positive study conducted by GW Pharma released their findings in late March 2016.
Please contact me if there is anything our foundation and our board of directors can do to help get this important piece of legislation passed.
Donna Dodson, Executive Director
Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama