Texan family turns to cannabis to help 14-month-old daughter

From WFAA – watch video hereScreen Shot 2014-11-22 at 4.23.14 PM.

Chris Blanchett can only hold his 14-month old daughter Ellanor’s hand, and hope she’s not in any pain, while she has a seizure.

Ellanor was born with a rare seizure disorder called Aicardi Syndrome. Her condition is so serious, most of the right side of her brain was removed in January in a surgery called a partial hemispherectomy.

Yet, even that drastic and desperate action didn’t stop the seizures from coming, sometimes half a dozen times a day, and causing more brain damage.

In a last ditch effort to improve her condition and lesson the number of seizures, the family is traveling to Oregon to try cannabis oil, a form of medical marijuana. The drug trial is being offered by MxBiotech, a company that specializes in cannabinoid research and development of cannabis-based medicines.

The Blanchetts are hoping for the sort of improvement, including a reduction in seizure activity, that has been seen in other patients.

“Being able to use her hand,” says mom, Sabrina, “Or one day being able to walk is what every parent hopes for their child, right? We want to do what’s best for her and what might benefit her.”

The cannabis based medicinals will be provided by the program, but parents will administer the treatment. The medicine is in a coconut oil and administered orally in very small doses. Patients do not smoke marijuana as part of the program.

“Sure, we may have questioned the cannabis oil at first,” admits Chris, “But that’s what we want to try now. And until you’re in our seat, you don’t understand what that decision means.”

Sabrina has written to many lawmakers, urging them to legalize medical marijuana in Texas. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana.

The Blanchetts are hopeful that cannabis oil will work. But if it does, they will face another tough dilemma, to move to a state where treatment for their daughter is available and legal or move back to Texas and watch Ellanor regress back into pre-treatment seizure activity.

For more information about Ellanor and the journey of the Blanchetts’ “warrior princess,” go to the family’s blog.

Veterans Affairs doctors may soon be allowed to recommend medical marijuana for PTSD

As of now, doctors who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs can’t suggest marijuana use

Source: UPI WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) – A new bill proposes that doctors from the Department of Veterans Affairs should be allowed to recommend the use of medical marijuana for PTSD, brain trauma and mental health in states where use of medical marijuana is legal.

The bill is called the Veterans Equal Access Act, and it was introduced on Thursday by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). As many as 30 percent of veterans have PTSD, and 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

Studies have found the use of marijuana in combination with therapy to be effective for treating PTSD and other mental health problems like anxiety or depression.

“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside,” said Rep. Blumenauer in a statement. “Sometimes even more so because of the devastating effect they can have on a veteran’s family. We should be allowing these wounded warriors access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana, not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful.”

The Grandmas Before They Smoked Weed for the First Time: The Pre-Pot Interview

From Gawker: Dorothea, the quietest, most charming weed-smoking grandma in the video that blew up the internet this week, apparently didn’t have as much fun as her compatriots did getting stoned for the first time.

In an interview with ANIMAL, director Mike Gaston said that Dorothea—who sat in the middle and had a distinct Rose Nylund vibe—told him it’s unlikely she’ll ever smoke again, but not because it was too intense: “She actually expected it would be more like an acid high.” TMZ interviewed Dorothea herself, who said that despite the surprising high, the experience convinced her that pot should be legalized.

The hardest part of the project, according to Gaston, was finding three grandmas who had never toked up even once.

The first thing we thought was, “Let’s call our grandmas.” Well, it turns out that all of our grandmas have smoked weed. Then we’re like, “So, let’s ask our friends’ grandmas.” They too have smoked weed. After asking tons of peoples’ grandmothers whether or not they had smoked weed, we finally had go to a talent agency. Even then it was difficult! We’d meet grandmas who’d claimed they’d never smoked weed, but after just a little bit of grilling, it was clear that they had, but like 40 years before.

We finally got two grandmas that were perfect, who had never smoked weed before. The third one was actually the mom of one of the directors of [a talent agency], because it was so hard finding someone who never smoked weed.

Paula, the most gung-ho grandma—in the video, she urges her fellow smokers to hit the bong “like you mean it”—told Gaston she definitely plans to get stoned again.