By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 12, 2014
RALEIGH — Plans to legalize a specific type of marijuana oil that parents say could help their seizure-plagued children are well-intentioned, but also fraught with danger, said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret) announced this past week that she’ll file a bill to make the use of CBD (cannabidiol) oil lawful for children who suffer from epilepsy related illnesses such as Dravet Syndrome that cause frequent seizures. Made from a strain of marijuana called Charlotte’s Web, the oil is marketed legally in Colorado as Realm Oil. It is high in CBD (around 17 percent), but low (.05 percent) in tetrahydrocannabinol, the plant’s psychoactive agent.
Calling her bill “Hope for Haley” after a child in her district, McElraft told the media that it would not legalize medicinal marijuana nor include prescriptions for grownups.
“It’s not going to be about legalizing medical marijuana for adults. This is only about CBD oil for the children,” she said.
Despite McElraft’s best intentions, Dr. Creech said there is “much danger” in such a proposal.
“It could be easily hijacked by those who have an agenda for the legalization of both medicinal and recreational marijuana,” he said. “Any proposal for the CBD oil should contain language that is very narrow and limited and not offer even a hint of endorsement of the use of homegrown cannabis or street-corner marijuana as medicine.”
Dr. Creech said his heart goes out to parents who are desperate for anything at all that may relieve their children’s suffering. But he also warned that many of those pushing for full legalization of pot aren’t above exploiting the sick to gain a legal foothold. Already liberal blog spots are calling for McElraft to expand the sympathy she has expressed for ill children to adults who use marijuana for medical purposes and to push to legalize the narcotic for them.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Creech also cautioned that CBD oil isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“There are many more unknowns than knowns,” Dr. Orrin Devinsky, head of New York University’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center told National Public Radio earlier this year. “I think the focus of the community — lay and scientific and governmental — should be on getting good information. That should be the real focus of what we need right now.”
He is involved in clinical trials of a British drug company’s CBD compound, but said the process could take a couple of years.