Parents of toddler with seizures support medical marijuana bill - WSMV News 4

Parents of toddler with seizures support TN medical marijuana bill

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Brian and Sandy Bush, with their 18-month-old son, Cameron Brian and Sandy Bush, with their 18-month-old son, Cameron

There's a new face in the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee as a mother and father appealed to state lawmakers on Monday to improve the quality of life for their little boy and others.

Brian and Sandy Bush traveled from Knoxville with their 18-month-old son, Cameron, to join the push on Capitol Hill for what they consider common-sense change for the sake of their son.

"He's on his third medication right now. And he's still having anywhere from five to 60 seizures a day on this medication," Brian Bush said. "Medical marijuana could be something that could help him."

The bill, which is now before lawmakers, would not decriminalize marijuana like in Colorado. It would also set strict guidelines for patients and prescribers.

Only certain people with certain ailments would qualify.

Healthcare providers would have to explain the possible benefits, and each patient would apply to a planned safe-access program with strict oversight.

"It's not a cure. It's a treatment just like any other treatment," Sandy Bush said.

State Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, wrote the bill. Her brother battled Crohn's Disease.

"My brother was basically tortured the last eight months of his life because of his disease. Nobody deserves that. And if a few drops of medical marijuana under your tongue, or a patch, or a lotion or some butter will make a difference to people's quality of life, we should do this," Jones said.

The bill faces a tough fight.

Jones needs a Senate sponsor for a companion bill and the support of the governor, who has seen the bill but hasn't yet reviewed it.

Families like the Bushes say they only hope the issue gets a fair consideration instead of an instant gut reaction.

"You know, every day that goes by is just more and more chance of permanent brain damage for him," Sandy Bush said.

"It's not, you know, your average middle-aged hippie guy who wants to smoke pot because of a bad back or something," Brian Bush said. "And I think, you know, we should be able to have at treatment option for him in Tennessee."

The bill would also enact rules on where licensed patients could use medical marijuana. It would not be allowed near schools or anywhere in public.

It is interesting to note the bill would tax medical marijuana heavily at 20 percent.

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