In arguments about legalizing medical marijuana, many people proclaim there isn’t enough clinical evidence to justify making it legal to use marijuana for medical treatments; however, there are countless stories of people whose lives have been changed for the better due to medical marijuana use.
The story of Tyler Vanier of Ontario, Canada, is one such tale.
At 6 years of age, Tyler Vanier should be enjoying school and playing with friends, but up until recently, his ability to lead a normal life was hindered by cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder known as Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
The condition caused him to have hundreds of seizures every day. When bedtime came, his mother literally had to hold him down until he could fall asleep. Doctors tried a number of different medications to try to control the seizures, but none proved to be effective, and most caused Tyler unpleasant side effects. To read more about Lennox Gastaut syndrome, click here.
A New Medicine
In early 2016, Tyler’s doctor prescribed medical marijuana in an effort to stop the seizures. To the amazement of Tyler’s mother, the herbal strain called Temple worked wonders. The strain contains little to no THC, so Tyler does not become intoxicated when he uses it. Instead, it provides a large dose of cannabidiol or CBD. With the help of the herbal medicine, Tyler’s seizures have been reduced dramatically. He is more relaxed, and he is able to sleep through the night.
More Progress Needed
A landmark ruling from the Canadian Supreme Court has made medical marijuana legal in Canada; however, the herbal medicine is not covered by the country’s national health system. As a result, Tyler’s mother initially had to pay $400 per month to stay stocked up on her son’s medicine. Now, she has found a new licensed provider that provides a discount for patients with financial need. Still, the single mother must pay $200 monthly.
Situations like this have led to a demand that the Canadian government cover legally-prescribed medical marijuana under the public health insurance option just like any other medication is covered.
Medicinal Marijuana in the U.S.
More than 20 states in the U.S. have legalized medicinal marijuana either fully or with restrictions, such as New York, which has made medical marijuana legal, but only when used with a vaporizer. Other states are actively debating medical cannabis laws, but advocates for national legalization say that cases like Tyler’s are proof that medical cannabis should be made available in every state and covered by health insurance as medicine.
The U.S. government maintains their stance that there is not yet enough evidence to prove that medicinal marijuana is beneficial to legalize it nationally; however, studies are underway into how CBN can benefit people with a number of different conditions, leaving room for hope that one day American children and adults with conditions like Tyler’s will have access to life-changing herbal medicine.