Categorized | Government, Health, News

Rep. Belatti advocates benefits of medical marijuana dispensaries with story of stricken child


Honolulu, Hawaii – Jari Sugano was desperate to find relief for her active five-year-old daughter, Maile Jen Hope Kaneshiro, who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare and intractable form of epilepsy. Maile or MJ, as she is known by her family, suffers from five seizure types, including grand mal seizures where she loses consciousness and has violent muscle contractions.

Her family and doctors have tried over a dozen drugs, as well as non-approved drugs, prescribed by the leading pediatric neurologists in the nation. In her first four years, MJ had thousands of seizures a day and spent long stays in children’s hospitals in Hawaii, Chicago and Miami. The family traveled the country and spent every penny they had seeking the best medical advice and care for MJ—to no avail.

Then in 2013, a CNN story by Dr. Sanjay Gupta told the story of Charlotte Figi who suffered from Dravet syndrome and how oil extracted from marijuana stopped her seizures.

Her family jumped on the story, applied for and received a Hawaii state medical marijuana card. They proceeded to feed her leaves from marijuana plants on a daily basis—but again to no avail. That’s when the Suganos’ story took on the aspects of the film, Lorenzo’s Oil, in which two parents, searching for a cure for their son who suffered from ALD, formulated their own homemade cure using extracts from canola and olive oils.

Her mother did research on the Internet and found that it was specifically a high CBD, low THC marijuana oil that stopped Charlotte Figi’s seizures. Further research on the Internet unveiled a method shared by support groups to extracted THC-A oil.

“THC-A, like CBD, dos not have psychoactive properties,” said Jari Sugano who testified today at a House Health Committee hearing on a resolution (HCR49/ HR29) to study the feasibility of creating a system of regulated medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii.

“We froze both the dried buds and high proof alcohol to extract the resins from the cannabis. The alcohol blows off and the resin which remains is a sticky powdery substance which we put into a high grade coconut oil. Maile still suffers from seizures, but the severity and quantity has subsided dramatically over the past three months.”

Unfortunately, the family ran out of the oil recently and her seizures returned with a vengeance.

“We are true believers that cannabis helps minimize her seizures and now understand the seriousness of maintaining a constant, safe and lab tested supply of cannabis oil,” Sugano testified. “In Hawaii, it is currently legal to use marijuana, its oils, and products for medical purposes. However, we lack access to global research and technologies which allow us to use these products properly and to its fullest potential. Establishment of a dispensary or other safeguards in Hawaii could increase the efficacy and healing potential of Hawaii’s existing medical marijuana program.”

“Maile’s story gives us one of the most dramatic and compelling reasons yet why we need to come up with a plan to create a legal dispensary for medical marijuana in Hawaii,” said Representative Della Au Belatti, Chair of the House Health Committee.

“Moreover, it’s not just Maile, but the thousands, young and old, in Hawaii who suffer from cancer and a wide range of other debilitating diseases that could find relief and a better quality of life with better access to medical marijuana. It is unconscionable for us to walk away from them and do nothing. We are one of just a handful of states who currently legalize medical marijuana without having access via some form of a system of dispensaries. We need to change that sooner rather than later.”

House Concurrent Resolution 48 and House Resolution 29, introduced by Belatti and passed out of the House Committee on Health today, would convene a task force to develop recommendations for the establishment of a regulated statewide dispensary for medical marijuana.

2 Responses to “Rep. Belatti advocates benefits of medical marijuana dispensaries with story of stricken child”

  1. informl says:

    Tick, tock, tick, tock. Times a wastin’, lives a taken. Baby steps, slow down, we don’t know the repercussions. Too bad now, that baby never stepped, a death sentence, without that medicine. (Some say)We’ll just wait and see; (Others)only CBD. No, no, no. It’s the Whole plant, see. With its entourage. Our bodies designed, all of mankind, with the key to unlock, the power that is the endocannabanoid system. We weren’t created before plants. That’s how long our relationship is. The time is now.

  2. Brian Kelly B Bizzle says:

    When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003


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