Mother of 7-year-old son with epilepsy testifies in support of legalizing medical marijuana

Feb 21, 2017

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A Kansas mother testified before Kansas lawmakers Monday about legalizing marijuana for medical use.

As KSN reports, Melissa Ragsdale’s 7-year-old son has been using legal hemp oil to relieve symptoms of epilepsy.

Ragsdale, who along with others testified before the Senate’s health and human services committee Monday, said that while her son has improved, more is needed.

“When you’re dealing with a type of epilepsy that happens all over the brain, we need access to multiple strains, multiple cannabinoids to subdue the multiple seizure types,” Ragsdale said.

Derek Espinoza, a former Wichita police officer, also testified, telling senators that he has been prescribed Depakote, Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Topamax, Provigil and Xyrem after being injured in the line of duty. Espinoza said he has gone into liver failure due to drugs he was prescribed to treat the injury.

Opponents are worried about the side effects that increased marijuana access would bring to Kansas.

Michelle Voth, executive director of Kansas Family Partnership, said that young men who did not know they had bipolar disorder smoked pot because they were depressed and went psychotic and believes people like that would be harmed by legalized medical marijuana.

Committee Chairman Sen. Jacob LaTurner, R-Pittsburg, said that he does not know when the committee will get the chance to revisit the bill.