Antoniazzi also argued that some forms of epilepsy are resistant to conventional, pharmaceutical anti-epileptic drugs, often carrying severe, life-threatening side-effects, while medical cannabis offers a potentially safer alternative for patients:
“To our knowledge, no one has ever died from taking THC, and in any case the concentrations that we are talking about in these medicines are very low.”
Jorja Emerson, 2, suffers from a rare form of intractable, treatment-resistant epilepsy which causes her to suffer from life-threatening seizures. Pharmaceutical medication failed to ease the severity or decrease the number of seizures she was suffering, potentially causing permanent damage to the young girl’s body and brain.
Doctors have warned her parents that she might suffer a fatal seizure if her condition does not improve.
Speaking to The Guardian, Robin Emerson, her father, said:
“This has been an assault course of bureaucracy and a rollercoaster ride of severe ups and downs.
“I have faced near-total opposition in my quest to get my daughter access to a medicine that is now legal in the UK and has been shown to work in similar cases.
“No family should have to endure what we have been through.
“Thanks to the generosity of friends and supporters I have managed to raise enough money to fund the first few months of the medicine. But at £833.75 per month I face a desperately difficult future.”
Private prescriptions for medical cannabis are pricing-out patients who are desperate for an alternative to dangerous, addictive pharmaceutical medication.
Although cannabis was legalised for medical use at the end of 2018, few are benefitting from the change in law. Hopefully 2019 will see a change to the cultural fear of prescribing cannabis, allowing greater access to those who need it most.