Ohio: New Video Tells Story of Young Epilepsy Patient Without Safe Access To Medical Marijuana
Moving Video Features Struggle and Frustration of Ohio Family That Has Run Out of Treatment Options for Their Daughter
The Drug Policy Alliance and Learn Liberty have teamed up to tell the emotional story of Sophia Nazzarine, a 7-year-old girl suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy, in a new video.
Between clips of Sophia singing and playing with her parents in her hometown of Cincinnati, the audience is shown saddening footage of Sophia seizing as a newborn, while her parents describe their discovery of Sophia’s epilepsy and their exhaustive struggle to find an effective treatment.
“We’ve tried everything else that they could possibly come up with to try and stop these seizures,” says Scott Nazzarine, Sophia’s father. “None of it has worked. We need legislation that allows our child to get the medicine she needs. But with or without it, we will continue to give our child what she needs to reduce her dangerous seizures.”
Sophia’s story is complemented by interviews with doctors, explaining her condition and the strong potential for its treatment with marijuana.
“The belief is that it’s the cannabidiol portion of [the marijuana plant] that seems to have less intoxicating effects and more of the anti-seizure effects,” explained Dr. Michael D. Privitera, professor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati.
“There are millions of people, young and old, just like Sophia, suffering from serious illnesses for which their doctors are out of ideas,” said DPA’s Dr. Amanda Reiman in response to the video. “They are out of options in the realm of traditional medical care and they deserve to have every option on the menu, and in 23 states plus Washington DC, they do.”
The video is being released just as legislation has been introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to allow those state programs to exist. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States - CARERS - Act is the first-ever bill in the U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana for medical use and the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill ever introduced in Congress.
The video ends by asking viewers to help create legal access to medical marijuana by supporting the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) as Sophia reads with her mother.
“Spending a week with Sophia and her family while filming this documentary was a life-changing experience. Sophia is truly an amazing girl whose story is helping to educate millions of people about why she can’t get the simple medication she needs,” said Tim Hedberg, the producer of the video for Learn Liberty.