ANNAPOLIS — A Frederick mother of twins with life-threatening seizures on Friday urged Maryland lawmakers to enable the medical marijuana treatments that have helped control epilepsy for children outside the state.

Shannon Moore said she's not sure whether marijuana would ease the seizures experienced by her 3-year-old sons, Nicolas and Byron Deliyannis.

"But I know that it will help many children," she said.

Moore spoke to a panel of state delegates Friday in support of two bills that could provide access to treatments now off-limits to her and other parents. Delegate Cheryl Glenn, who sponsored one of the proposals, testified that 20 states and the District of Columbia already have medical marijuana programs.

"We're going to get a bill passed this year on behalf of the patients and caregivers, those who are suffering and dying needlessly," said Glenn, D-Baltimore City, in a news conference before the House Health and Government Operations Committee took up her proposal.

Maryland lawmakers last year passed a bill that allowed patients to obtain marijuana through academic medical centers. But so far, none of the academic centers has established a medical marijuana program, so there is still no legal pathway to the treatment.

Paige Figi, of Colorado, whose family was featured in a CNN documentary about medical marijuana, also testified before the committee Friday. Figi's daughter, Charlotte, was born with Dravet syndrome, a condition that caused her to experience about 300 seizures a week until she began taking concentrated marijuana oil. With the medical marijuana treatment, Charlotte, 7, only has a few seizures each month.

Figi urged lawmakers not to be deterred by fears that medical marijuana would act as a gateway to other drugs. In fact, she said it worked the other way for her family.

"This was actually an exit drug for us," Figi said, adding that Charlotte has been able to discontinue her other medication.

With the bills sponsored by Glenn and Delegate Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, patients could work with physicians to receive medical marijuana. Both pieces of legislation lay out special processes for allowing children to receive medical marijuana treatments.

Glenn's proposal also involves issuing identification cards that would protect qualifying patients or their caregivers from criminal or civil penalties related to marijuana possession. Glenn is also seeking to establish independent laboratories to test marijuana for concentration of active ingredients and the presence of pesticides or fungus.

The bills received support from Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who said they would "ensure that Maryland has a responsible, safe, and functioning medical marijuana program."

Glenn and Morhaim said they are working together to resolve the differences between their bills.

Though Moore supported the bills, she said she disagrees with a provision that would cap at five the number of licensed marijuana growers in the state. A larger number of growers would create competition that could drive down prices, she argued.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(10) comments

2ndAffirmative

Quit buying illegal drugs and the war will be over. You have the power to end the war and keep these unsafe drugs produced in unsanitary conditions from killing you and your neighbors.

2ndAffirmative

There is nothing safe about illegal drugs. T

BossIlluminati

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

the annapolis police chief should be fired...and every case re-tried

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

suejohnson99

Shannon Moore is also a highly respected professional in the area of sustainability and storm water management. The have a nice home in Frederick. Her husband is a saint in that he quietly spends most of his days and nights taking care of their sons. I saw it first hand when they all stayed with us for four days when the recent ice storm knocked out power to their home. Her sons have feeding tubes so electricity is a necessity. The medications her sons take for seizures, five I think - they fill up a plate, all have nasty side effects (things like causing blindness) which is why they are at the point of quality vs. quantity of life decision making. I've never taken drugs and don't support recreational MJ but the Charlotte's Web strain apparently is dramatically helping reduce seizures in children. The sponsor of one of the two Maryland Medical MJ bills is the only medical doctor in the state legislature. All I can say is until you see what this and other families go through with things like Dravet Syndrome the best thing you can do is support them in allowing freedom to pursue medical treatment with a realistic possibility of helping their children. As for the pharmas, I worked for one and got paid a hefty sum to help put software in place that reduced the time it took to take a patented compound to market because the patent expiration clock starts ticking. I don't doubt they try to help people but it is market and money driven and we are talking about a natural plant here - think of it as an 'organic' solution. I pray our legislature helps families that can truly benefit from medical MJ.

DogsDogsAndMoreDogs2

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/01/23/medical-marijuana-strain-has-hundreds-of-parents-flocking-to-colorado/

2ndAffirmative

Will health insurance, medicare, and medicaid cover the marajuana oil? The majaruana oil can cost hundreds of dollars a month.

2ndAffirmative

If the legislature approves the measure, I hope it includes the marajuana oil that has helped children with disabilities otherwise it will be all in vain. The substance that makes you get high has been removed.

squibmyer

Why shouldn't this be legal? Non-addictive unlike legal painkillers and other prescription drugs and far less dangerous (there is no verified, documented overdose death from marijuana consumption). Smoking isn't the only option either: infusion into fats for eating, as well as vaporization (heating it up enough to obtain the necessary chemicals, but not hot enough to burn it, eliminating most, if not all, of the "bad" byproducts when one smokes something). No danger of pesticides etc. if you are able to grow it yourself (which itself is not that difficult).

C8H10N4O2

Is this mother the same one who lived in that burned out shell?

president8444

Is there some other medicine to control this??

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