Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Thursday, May 30
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion oped editorial

EDITORIAL: Indiana takes steps toward medical marijuana

ILLO: Medical cannabis

According to WTHI-TV, 13-year-old Brice Taylor of West Terre Haute, Indiana, had been plagued by epileptic seizures his whole life, and sometimes he experienced seizures 100 times a day.

As a result, Taylor had the cognitive level of a five-year-old and could not maintain conversation or retain 
information.

Now, thanks to an FDA-approved study, Brice takes two doses of cannabidiol oil and is seizure-free.

The Indiana Senate created a measure late last month that would allow doctors, caregivers and physicians to use cannabidiol oil to help control the effects of epilepsy.

The proposal has been sent to the House for further consideration in hopes that the amendment will be put into action by April. The 
Editorial Board is happy to see Indiana lawmakers move towards a more lax view of cannabinoids.

Commonly referred to as “hemp oil,” this substance contains little THC, but the effects for epileptic patients have proven to be extremely beneficial.

A limited amount of regulated studies have popped up across the country in an effort to show lawmakers the effects of medically therapeutic uses of marijuana.

The National Academies of Sciences recently released a report titled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for 
Research.”

The report explains that 16 states currently allow access to cannabidiol products, and “of the states that allow for some access to cannabis compounds, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, seizures/epilepsy, and pain are amount the most recognized qualifying ailments.”

Obviously, some states are more flexible.

California paved the way more than 20 years ago when first passing legislation regarding medical uses for cannabis. That being said, it’s much more than a drug war.

The discrepancies that exist between states are harming those medically burdened individuals who are in serious need of relief. And sadly, current studies have been improperly carried out and are therefore inadequate when supplying evidence.

We need more literature on the matter – the federal government should fund studies to help children like Brice receive the help they need. This will both hasten and legitimize the legislation process.

Epilepsy affects 2.75 million Americans, yet “recent systematic reviews were unable to identify any randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of epilepsy.”

Insufficient evidence due to limited and improper scientific studies should not be the reasoning behind Indiana’s inability to pass laws regarding medicinal 
cannabis use.

If anything, the Senate’s recent allowance for using cannabidiol for epileptic relief should incentivize the government to draft other stipulations that allow for access when relieving pain from HIV and AIDS, cancer, anorexia, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple 
sclerosis, Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, anxiety, depression, glaucoma, and many more 
conditions.

Even though most studies conducted to report the effects of cannabinoids on these ailments were inconclusive and do not provide sufficient evidence to make a claim, it is clear that the lack of scientifically regulated studies out there are due to the government’s inability to fund proper studies.

The clear connection between the lack of government-initiated studies and limited legislation highlights the heart of the 
problem.

More resources need to be pulled in order to conduct controlled studies that will nail down the medical benefits of cannabis once and for all.

Get stories like this in your inbox
Subscribe