Nancy Sajben, MD, forwards a story from the Guardian about a Peruvian mom whose son has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and is using black-market cannabis oil to alleviate his seizures and other symptoms. Just like Colorado’s Paige Figi and thousands of US parents whose children have seizure disorders, Ana Alvarez is pushing her government to provide safe access now. The Peruvian government and medical establishment are stalling in the name of science. As reported by Dan Collyns:
Peru’s leading anti-drugs NGO, Cedro, would only support the use of cannabis oil for children if it contained virtually no THC, the principle mind-altering ingredient found in the plant, said the organisation’s scientific consultant, Dr Alfonso Zavaleta.
“This medication doesn’t yet exist anywhere in the world,” said Zavaleta. While he says that the cannabis oil “seemed to have a palliative effect, reducing the children’s convulsions”, like many scientists he remains concerned about the impact that THC could have on young and developing brains.
Dr. Zavaleta must think the word “exist” means “been approved by federal authorities.”
Like Paige Figi, Ana Alvarez found a close ally and formed an organization:
With another mother who has a similarly afflicted child, she formed Buscando Esperanza (Searching for Hope), which campaigns for medicinal marijuana. Meanwhile, she taught herself how to make cannabis oil using clinical alcohol and buying black market marijuana, which is illegal in Peru in quantities larger than 8g.
Dorothy Santiago, a 29-year-old naval officer, was her co-conspirator. Santiago’s five-year-old son, Rodrigo, has the same clinical condition as Anthony.