JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An estimated 60,000 Floridians experience severe seizures, but parents are now pushing for an experimental drug using a marijuana component to save their children.
In a 2012 CNN documentary, a Colorado family started using oils from one of marijuana's major components to help save their daughter, who suffers from severe seizures. The mother, Paige Figgy, spoke to Florida lawmakers Thursday.
"We are just asking for leniency to treat these children," said Figgy.
The oil extracted from the marijuana plant has been found to have an extremely high success rate.
"I can't promise, we don't make claims this will help everyone, I want people to understand that," said Joel Stanley, who helped create the oil.
Marijuana has two major components: THC, which makes people high, and CBD, which is already being used to help eliminate seizures for children in Colorado.
In Florida, the oil is illegal since it comes from the illegal plant. But those in support of the potentially lifesaving oil say it has no street value.
Families say they'll do whatever it takes, including moving, if it means their child has a chance of living.
"We've looked at options of sending my wife and daughter to reside in Colorado so my daughter can receive this treatment," said Coy Browning, who is urging lawmakers to decriminalize the oil.
Republicans law makers have also expressed support for decriminalizing this marijuana oil to help save a life.
"I don't think this is substance abuse. I think this is using the substance wisely as God intended it for," said Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Republican.
The legislation is not related to the medical marijuana amendment currently gathering signatures in Florida.
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