The parents of five year-old Zander Welton are suing the state of Arizona this week for prohibiting access to the anti-seizure drug CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol, the second-most prevalent active ingredient in marijuana.
Cannabidiol treats some seizure disorders including some forms of epilepsy, but is unavailable in concentrated form in Arizona due to the state's ban on CBD concentrates.
According to the New York Times: "The boy’s parents, Jacob and Jennifer Welton, have been crushing flowers and mixing them into applesauce, which they say has become difficult for the boy to ingest after brain surgery last year compromised his ability to eat. They do not want to buy the extract, found on the black market, for fear of being arrested. 'We’re not criminals,' Ms. Welton, 30, an enrollment adviser at the University of Phoenix, said in an interview. 'We just want what’s best for our son.'
"'We tried so many other regular pharmaceutical medications. They don’t have the same stigma, but they didn’t help him and sometimes they made him worse,' said Ms. Welton, who has two other children. 'I wouldn’t want any of my other kids using marijuana. But this is Zander’s medication, and for the first time, I feel like there’s hope for him.'
Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery said the Weltons can be imprisoned for using CBD extracts so the Weltons and the ACLU are suing him, Gov. Jan Brewer and the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the country’s first study of cannabidiol for epilepsy. The molecule dampens the brain activity that triggers seizures, and protects brain cells from seizure damage.