Health & Human Services

Patients Who Want Marijuana Oil Face a Long Wait

May 14, 2014

Kentuckian Rita Wooton of Hyden has tearfully shared the story of son Eli’s frequent seizures — and the promise of marijuana oil to treat it — with dozens of people, ranging from doctors to journalists to legislators.

Earlier this year, her story helped persuade the Kentucky General Assembly to unanimously — and somewhat speedily — pass a bill approving the first medicinal use of marijuana in Kentucky.

But now doctors and researchers are saying it could take years to begin trials treating epileptic children such as Eli with marijuana oil.

“We’re really, really heartbroken,” Wooton said. “It’s just really sad that everyone put that much time and effort and energy into it and now it’s going absolutely nowhere. For people like us and Eli, who have intractable epilepsy, seizures that are nearly impossible to even control or get a handle on, our hope is gone.”

Some of issues stalling the trials are the availability of marijuana oil, the possible need for approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the cost of studiesthat preliminary estimates say could be $10,000 per participant.

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