A mother's plea for passage of cannabis oil bill

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -Wednesday marks International Epilepsy Awareness Day and the Epilepsy Foundation reports that more than 2 million people live with the neurological disorder in the United States.

In South Carolina, roughly 104,000 people are faced with the neurological condition that rears its ugly head in the form of seizures. Currently in the South Carolina Statehouse there are two bills in support of a controversial treatment option for seizures.

Senate Bill 1035 and House Bill 4803 both call for the use of cannabis oil in research for medical cannabis therapeutic treatment. The two bills are currently on the House and Senate floors and have until May this year{}to be passed.

Goose Creek mother Karen St. Marie is crossing her fingers for the bills to get the green light from the General Assembly and signed by the governor. Her son, Erik Gordon, was diagnosed at the age of 19 with epilepsy.

"You live with this 24-7. You go to bed praying nothing happens during the night and you wake up checking to see if everything is okay," said St. Marie. "It's my dream that Erik can return back to the life he knew seven years ago when he was in school. Working, driving and had a social life because all of that was taken away from him in a blink of an eye."

After Erik's doctors installed a Neuropace machine in his skull, his seizures went down from around 30 a month to one or two a week.

But St. Marie said they are still holding out for an alternative treatment option that could potentially get rid of Erik's seizures for good.

"The CBD oil has the potential to completely exonerate a patient's seizures," St. Marie said. "This could be the light at the end of the tunnel that could totally transform your loved ones life. We are asking everyone to please give it a chance."

Erik's mom says that CBD, or cannabis oil, is often confused with medical marijuana - but they have major differences.

"I think everyone associates the medical marijuana with recreational use and CBD oil has such minute traces of THC so there is not the 'high effect' that so may people associated marijuana with," she said.

St. Marie encourages those in support of the bill for medical cannabis research here in South Carolina to call their state representatives.

St. Marie is the founder of the support group, SAFE: South Carolina Advocates For Epilepsy. For more information click here.