At the age of 2, Wyatt suffers multiple seizures a day, and his mother, Jessica Hauser, worries what effect his infantile spasms may have on his neurological development. According to Hauser, the family has tried over 10 different types of medication to treat Wyatt’s epilepsy with no positive results and are now considering a drastic step to help improve their child’s health — medical marijuana.
"Every time Wyatt has a seizure, it's causing brain damage, so the sooner we can get his seizures under control, the better outcome he'll have long-term," Hauser told KTSP. "We've tried more than 10 medications to help get those seizures under control, and so far none of them have worked."
Hauser and a group of fellow mothers from Minnesota spoke at the State Capitol press conference this past Wednesday, asking for the state to consider the legalization of medical marijuana. During the meeting, Hauser accused Gov. Mark Dayton of advising her to find marijuana, illegal in Minnesota, on the street — a claim Gov. Dayton vehemently denied.
With her son experiencing as many as 100 seizures in a single day, Hauser knows that time is sensitive to Wyatt’s condition. Classified as a disorder of the brain, seizures caused by epilepsy can have a detrimental effect on neuronal activity including the growth and health of brain cells. In addition to 10 epileptic medications, Hauser said Wyatt has tried a specialized diet to no avail. At 2 years old, he is also not eligible as a candidate for surgery.
Now Hauser and her family are considering every possibility to obtain medical marijuana legally for Wyatt, including a move out-of-state. Although they are expected to stay in Minnesota pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana, Hauser said the family is looking into Oregon where the substance has been legalized under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).
According to the Epilepsy Foundation (EF), there are currently 2.3 million Americans living with epilepsy including over one million who suffer from uncontrollable seizures. While most health care professionals do not back medical marijuana as a proper medication for epilepsy, the Epilepsy Foundation’s Board of Directors recently called for increased access and research into the subject.
A recent statement issued by President and CEO of the EF, Phillip M. Gattone, and Chair of the EF’s Board of Directors, Warren Lammert, asked the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to end restrictions on clinical trials and research into medical marijuana as a viable epilepsy treatment.