I am one in a growing number of mothers in Maine who has turned to medicinal cannabis oil to treat my child’s intractable epilepsy.

Current legislation threatens to block access to this medicine, which holds promise in alleviating my 10-year-old son Calvin’s seizures and improving his quality of life when multiple pharmaceutical drugs have failed and cause him heinous side effects and developmental setbacks.

L.D. 1739 will soon be up for a vote by the Legislature, containing current language banning the cannabis plant’s resins – its medicine – defined in the bill as hashish.

According to the bill, hashish “includes the resin extracted from any part of the cannabis plant and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation from such resin.” This language is tantamount to banning the plant’s inherent medicinal qualities, which are essential to making our children’s medicine.

The cannabis oil we make for our children is derived from the plant’s resins.

The result is a non-psychoactive medicine that can be precisely and incrementally dosed, adjusted and given to our children orally.

This is the only method that can be used to treat their epilepsy. Vaporizing or ingesting marijuana buds is not an option for our children because dosing cannot be measured or controlled.

Without access to medicinal cannabis resins, our children are at risk of suffering continuous seizures, pharmaceutical drug side effects, developmental setbacks and death. My hope is to raise awareness of this bill, which, if passed, would ban the very therapeutic compounds that medical marijuana holds for thousands of Maine’s patients.

If you want to help, please contact your state legislators.

Christy Shake

Brunswick