In what could be considered a surprising move, Utah Representative Gage Froerer (Republican from House District 8) came out of the proverbial “cannabis closet” by supporting a portion of the medicinal cannabis movement in Utah.
Representative Froerer is not fully supportive of medical marijuana for all patients in need (just yet), rather his focus is on the so called “Mormon Moms for Marijuana” which consists of several Utah mothers who have witnessed the benefits of treating their children with Dravet Syndrome with low THC, high CBD strains of cannabis, such as Charlotte's Web.
According to the Dravet Foundation website, “Dravet syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy. Initial seizures are most often prolonged events and in the second year of life other seizure types begin to emerge. Development remains on track initially, with plateaus and a progressive decline typically beginning in the second year of life. Individuals with Dravet syndrome face a higher incidence of SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) and have associated conditions, which also need to be properly treated and managed”.
These conditions include:
- behavioral and developmental delays
- movement and balance issues
- orthopedic conditions
- delayed language and speech issues
- growth and nutrition issues
- sleeping difficulties
- chronic infections
- sensory integration disorders
- disruptions of the autonomic nervous system (which regulates things such as body temperature and sweating)
By allowing parents to treat children diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome with cannabis extracts, the state of Utah is well on its’ way to recognizing the benefits of cannabis and will hopefully learn of other conditions which also respond.
Representative Froerer is the third Utah Representative to publicly admit that cannabis does, indeed, produce positive results and can be utilized in medicine.
According to a recent news report, Froerer said after hearing about an 80 percent success rate in reducing seizures in Colorado, stating “It convinced me that if this extract, and this is not medical marijuana, will in fact help these children reduce the significance of these seizures, then we need to do everything we can to help these families.”
Froerer is planning on meeting with the Utah Substance Abuse Advisory Council next month and is hoping the extract won’t be labeled a controlled substance so parents can import it without fear of prosecution. Representative Froerer plans to sponsor legislation if the state does not grant approval.
This is another positive step toward legalizing medicinal cannabis extracts and organizations such as UtahCARE (Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education), have hopes that the Utah community and lawmakers will eventually realize the full benefits of cannabis in every form, from extracts, oils, edibles, flowers and more.
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