The parents of 9-year-old Sam Saretti have tried everything to help his epilepsy. Various drugs helped a little, but they added 40 pounds to his frame. Not even an implant that zapped his vagus nerve has stopped him from frequently dropping to the floor and convulsing with seizures. So this year, the Sarettis opted to try something a little unorthodox: pot.
The Florida legislature last year passed a law allowing doctors to administer low-THC cannabis to patients with certain medical conditions. The Sarettis are still in limbo, however, because a judge recently invalidated a system for choosing marijuana growers, so no one in the state is currently authorized to cultivate the stuff, ABC News reported.
There's some very early, and largely anecdotal, evidence that marijuana might be an effective treatment for some forms of epilepsy in children who haven't responded to traditional medications. It's partly to help bolster these types of clinical studies that the American Academy of Pediatrics today recommended that the government re-classify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, a category that includes other addictive, yet still therapeutic, substances like oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug, along with things like heroin and acid, which are thought to have no medicinal value.