Supporters

Dr. Francis Filloux, MD

Chief, Division of Pediatric Neurology
University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology
University of Utah School of Medicine

“In summary, I would like to express my strong belief that CBD-based oils (referred to here in Utah as “Alepsia”) should be available as soon as possible to Utah children with severe epilepsy. The substance is not psychoactive or hallucinogenic, it contains less THC than do other materials that can be legally purchased in Utah, and it has absolutely no abuse potential. In Utah its use would be supervised by careful and knowledgeable physicians for the benefit of their patients. It is critical that safe and reasonable options for the treatment of children with severe epilepsy be available in Utah as they are in other states. Otherwise, as a community we would be making the decision to limit access of our children to a potentially life-improving therapy.”
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Dr. Brandon Zielinski, MD, PhD

Attending Physician, Division of Pediatric Neurology
University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology
University of Utah School of Medicine

“However, due to the manner in which existing regulations regarding available and consumption of cannabis products is interpreted, in the United States and Utah, these non-psychoactive products are not currently available to Utah’s children with severe epilepsy. The “innocent bystander” effect is preventing what could be a substantial improvement in children with a devastating neurological illness.”
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Dr. Lynne Kerr, MD, PhD

Division of Pediatric Neurology
University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology
University of Utah School of Medicine

“…there have been recently publicized cases of children with severe epilepsy who have experienced extraordinary seizure control and improvement in their quality of life from natural substances that contain high content of CBD. The substances are purposefully manufactured with high content of CBD (a non-psychoactive component of cannabis) and very low or undetectable levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the “psychoactive” component of cannabis or marijuana.”
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Dr. Helen Barkan, MD, PhD

Division of Pediatric Neurology
University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology
University of Utah School of Medicine

“As a pediatric neurologist who cares for many children with severe epilepsy, I believe that any product that is actually legally available in the United States and is legally taken by some of our citizens should be available to United States citizens whether they be residents of Colorado…or of Utah.”
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Dr. Michael Cutler, DO, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiology
Case Western Reserve University

“One of the most important questions to ask in this case is do the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks? Based on available evidence, in this case the answer has to be in the affirmative.”
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Dr. Ronald Stoddard, MD

Medical Director Newborn Intensive Care
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center

“With the growing body of literature as to its efficacy and safety, I would urge that this specific product for this specific indication, be legalized in the state of Utah to help our children who are struggling with intractable epilepsy.”
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Dr. Stephen Minton, MD

Chief of Neonatology
Medical Director, Women and Newborn Services
Urban South Region
Intermountain Healthcare
Attending Physician Newborn Intensive Care
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center

“Approval of Alepsia is a medical and public policy issue. It is not a drug with abuse potential.”

“These children with severe epilepsy have a decreased quality of life and are restricted in their ability to function. They deserve all the help they can get to control their seizures.”

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Dr. Tanya Jackson, MD, PhD, FAAP

Pediatrician

“As a pediatrician, it is my job to advocate for children, and I feel strongly that it would be a terrible disservice to limit access to this potentially life-altering medication. If Alepsia is approved in Utah, I will work closely with the neurologists to make sure my epilepsy patients have the opportunity to utilize this most promising medication.”
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James Thomas, R.Ph.

Pharmacist
Pharmacy Preceptor
Roseman University of Health Sciences

“It is frustrating as a health care professional to have zero options of assistance for patients that are seeking advice.”

“I believe Utah should place people over politics and make high-CBD/low-THC Cannabinoids available. Current medical literature documents potential benefits to children with uncontrolled forms of epilepsy.”

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Dr. Richard Ellis, DMD

Dentist

“Please do not turn this into a political issue, it is an ethical issue and you should listen to those who are qualified in this field who have done their research and conducted the trials in this area. This is a medical and public policy issue. We need to keep our children’s best interest, health and well being at the heart of deciding this issue.”
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Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, MD, PhD

Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor in Neurology
Harvard Medical School

“Numerous studies performed in the past 40 years have demonstrated the anticonvulsant effects of CBD both in animal models and in human adults. In a double blind, placebo-controlled study showing that CBD reduces seizure activity, the most commonly reported side effect was somnolence, and no patients reported any psychotropic effects. Indeed, studies suggest that CBD has no negative impact on psychomotor or psychological functions.”

“My colleagues and I have witnessed the dramatic effect of CBD on many of our pediatric patients.”

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Dr. Alan Shackelford, MD

General Practicioner

“In many instances patients have been able to significantly reduce or even eliminate their use of prescription medications…”
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Dr. Gary Thompson, PsyD

Director of Clinical Training
Early Life Child Psychology & Education Center, Inc

“I am convinced of the efficacy of the treatment as such relates to the treatment of children with this form of epilepsy.”
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Dr. John Bezzant, MD

Dermatologist
Adjunct Clinical Professor
University of Utah

“My primary concern is that those involved in decision making about the extract CBD, will equate CBD with THC…..; therefore, there will be unnecessary concern and delay, and unnecessary continued suffering.”
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Dr. Joseph Johnson, MD

Pediatrician

“I am willing to assist in monitoring its usage in collaboration with her neurologist.”
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Amy Billings, PA-C

Physician’s Assistant

“Based on the findings in these studies, I believe Alepsia could potentially improve the quality of life for many amazing children suffering from the debilitating effects of epilepsy.”
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Barbara Craghead, RN

Registered Nurse

“Having different medication options may make a world of difference in their quality of life.”
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Kaerlig Hurtado, RN

Pediatric Registered Nurse

“When children are given a chance to live life without seizures, they finally are able to make developmental advances and gain abilities that they have to this point been unable while under the assault of constant seizures.”
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Vandee Willits, RN

Pediatric Registered Nurse

“I feel it is our moral responsibility as adults to do anything we can to ensure a child’s well being. As legislators, you have the ability to make this possible for children suffering from intractable epilepsy.”
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Brian Gwilliam

Chief, Lone Peak Police

“…I believe that we owe it to our children to explore avenues that may offer hope of a better quality of life.”
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Don Porter

Outtakes
Standard Examiner

“Once in a while life hands you the opportunity to do something heroic.”

“Members of our state’s Legislature, our governor, and the Controlled Substance Advisory Board have the chance to behave heroically for 10,000 children and adults in Utah over the next few months.”

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Dave Sundstrum

Financial Services

“The time to act is now. Not tomorrow. We need to be expeditious.”
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Jennifer Grover

Special Education
Educational Administration

“The devastating fact is that none of the medications nor medical attention decreased his seizure activity nor improved his prognosis.”
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Jodi Sipple

Special Education Teacher

“I…..hope that this type of “medication” will be the answer for students, teachers but especially for the families whose hearts break daily by watching their children slowly slip away.”
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John Munro

Elementary School Teacher

“Just as Neil Armstrong took America’s first steps on the moon, I plead that you allow families…..to take one small step towards an improved life. Families everywhere will be grateful you did.”
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Ken Westwood

Principal
South Jordan Elementary

“We simply cannot continue to allow children…..to languish developmentally and suffer needlessly while we worry ourselves silly over some imagined Cannabis “slippery slope”.
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Kyle Bringhurst

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Wasatch Mental Health & Giant Steps Autism Preschool

“This substance is not addictive and can be supervised by a competent physician. It is crucial for the quality of life of these children to be able to access all options for treatment for such a debilitating disease.”
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Renee Jackson

Special Education Teacher

“If it will help students learn, retain what they have learned, and progress toward a more full adult life, I feel we are bound to support this legislation to allow this oil to be available to these students.”
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Sarah Combs

Special Education Teacher

“To see a student performing at a certain level and then get set back days, weeks or months of development from one seizure is heartbreaking. However, equally as heartbreaking is knowing that now intervention has caught up with the isolation of a high CBD/low THC cannabis, but it’s not available in Utah.”
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Susan Greer

Support Coordinator

“It’s hard for someone who has not lived with this condition to imagine how one is affected on a daily basis. Often families try the standard medications without success. When this is the case, they continue to seek alternative methods known to have helped control seizures.”
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Zachary Nelson

Investment Advisor

“This isn’t a fight for medical marijuana and/or for the use of recreational marijuana. This is a fight for the ability to look for other options to treat so many wonderful children that suffer from epilepsy…”
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