Getting legal access to medical marijuana is no easy task in Pennsylvania, and for the Sharrer’s that’s no exception.
Angela Sharrer says, “You have to obtain it legally. In order to obtain it legally, you have to be a resident of that state.”
Her daughter Annie is 12 years old… She has epileptic seizures and is autistic. Angela says Annie has been on 12 different medications in her life. She says they ran out of options to control Annie’s seizures.
“You would have not seen the Annie you see right now, had we kept her on that medicine.”
The Sharrers then turned to medical marijuana as a treatment option for their daughter. Now, Annie only has a seizure once every 7 to 10 days.
“She was having much more than that on the medications that weren’t working… She’s much more aware and alert since starting cannibus.”
While the Sharrers have made progress with Annie’s treatment, and the state has progressed with the legalization of medical marijuana… Pennsylvania Senator Mike Folmer acknowledges, there is still one big problem:
“It sounded great, but how do you legally acquire… how do you have legal access to something that some states won’t allow you to get unless you’re a resident?”
Angela says even with the safe harbor letter which allows parents of qualifying children to legally have medical marijuana in their possession, it’s nearly impossible to access the drug with consistent ratios of hemp oil to THC which is the psychoactive component in marijuana. this is commonly referred to as the CBD to THC ratio.
Angela says that consistency in ratios is extremely important for someone with epilepsy…
“If I am trying to keep her on one ratio at the same time I’m removing a medication, we need consistency. We need absolute consistency.”
The Sharrers currently have Annie on a 20 to 1 ratio that they can legally buy online. Because of the extremely low levels of THC, it is still considered a hemp oil. However, Angela is hoping to find an even better ratio that could help make Annie seizure free.
“Let’s try this strain– nope. that didn’t work as good as the first one. Ok, well then let’s stick with that… you know, or let’s try to make the ratio a little higher.”
Senator Folmer understands that by adjusting the ratios, the future could look even brighter for Annie.
“Is she better off with it than without? Yes… could it be better? Probably. Hopefully we can have our own program here in PA where Annie then would be able to, and her doctor could play with a couple different ratios just to see… Hey maybe we need a 15 to 1, maybe we need a 12 to 1… Who knows?”
For now though, playing with ratios will have to wait for the Sharrer family, as dispensaries allowing them to access medical marijuana in the commonwealth aren’t set to open until next year.
Angela says you won’t catch her walking into a dispensary in another sate.
“If you say you`re a resident of that state, then you`re not really telling the truth, because you`re not… because you`re a resident of this state… You know what i mean?’
For everyone else though, Senator Folmer says, “they’re finding ways… and I don’t know how legal those ways are, ok?”
He says once they have the drug in their possession and they have the safe harbor letter it is more of a don’t ask, don’t tell scenario.
“What DA would be dumb enough to prosecute someone who has a safe harbor letter, and especially if it’s a child… Come on man.”
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by FOX43TV
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