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My Son Helped by 'Charlotte's Web'

To the Editor:

Re: Marijuana 'Treatment' Needs Scientific Testing

I just read Dr. Wollschlaeger's letter to the editor about cannabis and epilepsy.  My son is one of the kids currently receiving Charlotte's Web for his intractable myoclonic-astatic epilepsy. However, I am always interested in the counterpoints as I want to make our son's treatment as objective and scientific as possible.

I was particularly intrigued by some of the doctor's points about a cannabinoid that is not psychotropic or a controlled substance, as that controlled substance piece necessitated a move from Illinois to Colorado for my family.  However, after my first web search, I instead discovered that half of the doctor's letter is copied directly from this link.

I'm not a doctor and don't have access to the journals' contents -- I would hope the doctor has looked a little deeper, because I really want to know what kind of epilepsy was tested and why that evidence bolsters his opposition.  I'd also like to know which molecule isn't controlled and why that is, and then why he'd prefer that other research not start for molecules that are controlled.

I happen to agree with the doctor that cannabis needs to be rigorously tested and produced -- but, as long as it's a Schedule 1 substance, that can't happen. However, it seems like the doctor proposes something impossible: he doesn't want the law to change, yet he wants to be able to do rigorous research.

Our world-renowned pediatric neurologist asked us to start investigating cannabis well before Charlotte Figi's story made CNN.  My son has tried nine seizure meds that have all failed to gain full seizure control, and there are no remaining options currently without significant side effects.  My son began "Charlotte's Web" on Dec. 18.  Since that point, we've done seizure counts five times a day, and have observed a 90 percent decrease in my son's seizures.  Our next EEG will prove whether it's anecdotal or scientific fact.

Randy Gross
Naperville, Ill.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.