I am the mother of a young adult with a seizure disorder. I applaud Sen. Daylin Leach’s thoughtful and impassioned words in his Dec. 2 Perspectives piece, “Marijuana Is Not Kryptonite.” There are thousands of Pennsylvania citizens with intractable seizures. Each and every one of these people deserves to live a safe and productive life. A seizure disorder impacts every aspect of an individual’s life. Foremost, it impedes the ability to be independent in every area of an individual’s life. Social activities are curtailed; activities of daily living and employment are impacted as well. It is a pervasive and debilitating affliction.
Our legislators cannot casually dismiss the magnitude of the devastation their blindness is having on the lives of individuals with a seizure disorder without first educating themselves about every aspect of the use of medical marijuana and how it differs from recreational use of marijuana. They must become more informed, not only about the medicinal use of marijuana, but also the medical facts about seizure disorders.
Perhaps if they took the time to read the facts relating to seizure disorders and, more salient, the myriad case histories of people trying to carve out a life around their seizures, it might provide a better platform to at least address the issue intelligently.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s statement about the Food and Drug Administration having to approve its use is a clear indication of his unwillingness to address this issue, as well as his complete misunderstanding. It is time to force the politicians of Pennsylvania into the 21st century and catch up to the clearly more forward-thinking states that have approved the use of medical marijuana for their residents in need. There are now 20 legal medical marijuana states and the District of Columbia. The legislators in those states should be commended for their educated and compassionate intellect.