For one family in Australia, cannabis oil is making a difference.
When Sophie Martin was ten weeks old, she had her first seizure. Now, at eight years old and diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and incurable genetic epileptic dysfunction of the brain. Her parents have turned to cannabis oil to aid them in giving their daughter quality of life—despite the fact that use of the substance, even for medicinal purposes, is strictly illegal.
Breaking the Law for The Greater Good
For Shellie and David Martin, their choice to use cannabis oil to assuage their daughter’s severest symptoms is a no brainer. For those who can’t understand their reasons, Shellie Martin counters that naysayers have “zero idea of what it is like to have a child this sick.” The same goes for why the Martins are letting their story go public.
“I said to the doctors, I’m just doing this now on the record because we have no more options,” Shellie Martin told the press.
“She went from being — I don’t want to use the word vegetable, but on some days that’s what they are, they can’t do a thing — to being active and being productive,” she continued.
According to Mrs. Martin, her daughter was beset by seizures every two to four weeks previous to using cannabis oil as a treatment method. Since infancy, Shellie predicts that Sophie has been admitted to intensive care roughly 100 times or more.
Inspired by the progress made by another girl with the same condition as Sophie’s after the former’s family reported the health benefits of cannabis oil, the Martins ordered cannabis oil with a low THC count from a company based in Colorado.
Since the Martins introduced cannabis oil into their daughter’s regimen of medications, the frequency of her seizures has drastically reduced. They purport that Sophie has gone as long as 16 weeks without experiencing a debilitating seizure.
Final Hit: Cannabis Oil Is Making a Difference
The Martins aren’t the only family forced to turn to illegal means to seek treatment for their daughter vis-a-vis medicinal cannabis.
“We’ve certainly heard of families who are using an illicit product and they are going to their doctors and they’re trying to get a prescription for a legal product, they don’t want to be breaking the law,” Carol Ireland of the group Epilepsy Action Australia recently told the press.
So why is the government so staunch in their refusal to re-examine their policies, following the example of other countries? According to Ireland, it’s a chicken-or-the-egg situation.
“When they seek approval from the government, the government is expecting some research in terms of the efficacy of the drug that they are asking for and that research is not there yet,” Ireland stated.
While it’s possible to obtain authorization for medicinal cannabis by the Australian government, consent must be granted by both the Commonwealth and whichever state the patient resides in.
Despite these hurdles, the Martins are confident in their choice to continue Sophie’s current medical course. For them, cannabis oil is making a difference.
“We still need pharmaceutical medications but I absolutely, 100 per cent, believe that it is making a difference for my daughter,” Mrs. Martin concluded.