Texas senator denounces medical marijuana anecdotal evidence
A Texas senator, who also is a physician, says she needs more than anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana works.
Senator Donna Campbell, a board certified emergency room physician who lives in New Braunfels and represents Senate District 25, a six county district which includes parts of San Antonio and Austin, has struck a nerve with those in the medical cannabis community for the second time this year.
Previously during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee meeting earlier in March, retired Army veteran Arthur Mayer brought up the subject of medical cannabis for veterans during his testimony. As he began to speak about the issue, Sen. Campbell quickly tapped her pen on the desk, stating that the legislature had already passed medical marijuana.
Mayer noted that the bill in question was a CBD bill, not whole plant cannabis, and that only those with extreme forms of epilepsy can qualify as patients. He added that military veterans would not be able to benefit from this medical program. The senator quickly told Mayer that it was a subject for another time.
This prompted Matt Gower, a retired Combat Engineer in the Texas Army National Guard, to reach out to the senator to express his disappointment with how she responded to Mayer’s testimony.
He received a response back, with the senator stating “I am skeptical as a physician and have not seen scientific evidence proving long-term benefits.”
An exchange ensued between both Gower and Campbell, with Gower providing a number of sources including the NORML Legislator’s Educational Packet, Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, as well as information on Alexis Bortell, a 10-year-old girl who had to leave the state to receive treatment for her severe seizure activity in Colorado.
Since beginning treatment with cannabis extracts, including both THC and CBD, Bortell has not had any seizures in over a year now. Down from the 20 or so seizures she was having each day.
Campbell responded to this information by saying “Thanks for forwarding these posts, but I am looking for far more than anectdotal evidence. Heck, I could write a book on all the anectdotal remedies I’ve heard people swear worked when they came into the ER, even though they were often masking the symptoms of a serious disease or creating their own seperate and harmful side effects. Like I said, your work is cut out in convincing me and it’s going to take overwhelming scientific data, but I appreciate your continued feedback.”
This response comes on the heels of recent results from FDA-approved clinical trials at children’s hospitals in Texas which showed that CBD oil is effective at helping to reduce seizure activity. Outside of the state, many, including Bortell, also need THC to be included in the treatment in order for it to be effective.
The Journal of Neural Transmission has published a study which shows that THC may enhance the effectiveness of other compounds when treating seizure activity.
A recent poll by TEGNA Media, which owns a wide-ranging portfolio of media outlets and reaches one-third of all television households nationwide, found that 71 percent of Texans are in favor of medical marijuana.
A WebMD/Medscap survey of 1,544 doctors showed that a majority are in support of medical marijuana.