New England editorial roundup

December 23rd, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Portland (Maine) Press Herald, Dec. 20, 2013

They’ve been described as an electrical storm in the brain.

Seizures occur when large numbers of the cells that transmit information to muscles fire uncontrollably, causing everything from staring spells and twitches to falling, loss of consciousness and full-body convulsions. Anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of children with a seizure disorder – also known as epilepsy – experience seizures that can’t be relieved by pharmaceutical medications.

Now these young patients’ parents think they’ve found something that can repress the seizures. The problem is that it’s illegal under federal law. The federal prohibition against marijuana intersects with Maine’s medical marijuana statutes in a way that poses major roadblocks to families and shows the need for federal action to ease these draconian limits.

The strain of marijuana that’s been in the spotlight is called “Charlotte’s Web,” named for the child who was having 300 grand mal seizures a week but is 99 percent seizure-free after two years of treatment with the substance.

Charlotte’s Web is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – which produces the classic “high” – and rich in cannabidiol, or CBD – which is believed to be medicinal. (In children, the drug is taken in a liquid form that can be put into food or under the tongue.)

But Maine parents have had a hard time obtaining Charlotte’s Web. It’s apparently not being grown here. And it’s illegal to buy clones of the plant in

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