Medical Marijuana Advocates Rally At OK Capitol

Wednesday, February 12th 2014, 6:16 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Both doctors and parents were among those testifying before legislators, Wednesday, during an emotional hearing on legalizing medical marijuana.

The hearing focused on a specific type of non-smoked, non-psychoactive form of medical marijuana that could help children with epilepsy.

"I will hold every person in this room accountable if my child doesn't survive long enough for us to raise the money to move to Colorado," Virginia Spencer told the handful of legislators at Wednesday's hearing.   

Spencer's 9-year-old daughter, Avagrace, has severe epilepsy and several seizures a day. 

"Quantity of life or quality of life? How many of you can imagine having that discussion with countless doctors about your child," she tearfully testified.  

Their pediatrician has told her she believes a specific type of oil made from marijuana would help. But it's illegal in Oklahoma.

"It's no longer that hippy in the corner sitting there saying ‘Free the weed'. We're saying ‘Save the children,'" said Josh Stanley. 

Stanley came in from Colorado Springs to share how firsthand the form of medical marijuana he developed called "Charlotte's Web" has changed the lives of many children like Avagrace.

"Virtually every child that takes part in these programs responds and it's about an 88 percent reduction in seizures," said Stanley.

That's what Marty Piel, from Perry, told lawmakers was the case with his granddaughter who moved from Oklahoma to Colorado to get the treatment.

"A year ago, I might not have been a supporter," he testified. "I'm a conservative in a conservative state and I may not have believed. But I do now."

Unfortunately for Virginia, her husband is in the military and stationed in Oklahoma, making moving to Colorado very difficult. And that's why she is pleading with lawmakers to save her daughter's life by legalizing the cannabis.

"She's on hospice and there's nothing else we can do unless we can get to Colorado."

Sen. Patrick Anderson, a Republican from Enid, was the one who held the hearing, but he says he has no plans to introduce any legislation to legalize even this narrow type of medical marijuana.