Fighting to legalize medical marijuana in PA

A Gettysburg woman is hoping to give her daughter a better chance at life and she’s willing to give up life as she knows it to do so.    Debbie Foster’s daughter Lydia started having epileptic seizures when she was just 6 years old.  Now 16, she has anywhere from 4 to 300 seizures a day.  After hearing about other epilpetic children who found relief from medicail marijuana produced in Colorado,  she decided it was time to give it a try. So she took her youngest daughters to Colorado and left her grown children and husband behind.  Amy Lutz traveled to Colorado to meet the Fosters to see why they say they shouldn’t have to split apart their family just to get medicine for their child.

Debbie Foster doesn’t understand why anyone would be against the cannabis oil she uses to treat her epileptic child.  “There’s no reason why a plant, as long as it has the right controls on it, there’s no reason why a plant, can’t be used in any state.  “We’re just using a plant that God put on the earth, we’re not encouraging people to get high,” she said.

Senator Daylin leach co-sponsored Senate Bill 1182 that would legalize medical marijuana in PA, and says that sick people should get medicine that will make them better, particularly medicine that is so much more benign than the highly toxic medication we are giving them now. Many epilepsy drugs have serious side effects.  For example, Felbatol, warns of extreme weight loss, aplastic anemia and liver failure- both of which can be fatal.  Louann Speese Stanley’s 16 year old daughter Diana also suffers from epilepsy, and she says she’s ready to move to Colorado if that’s what it takes to give her a better quality of life.

Senate Bill 11-82 will likely meet resistance along the way.  Governor Tom Corbett has gone on record as being staunchly opposed to legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Senator Leach says he’s requested several meetings with the governor to talk about the subject, but he hasn’t responded.

“He’s tied up in some weird culteral war in the past where marijuana was equivalent to Jimmy Hendrix and burning your bra and being against Vietnam. This isn’t the 60’s and these aren’t hippies…these are sick kids who need medicine.”, the Senator said.

Medicine that Debbie Foster couldn’t wait any longer to make available to her daughter.