Local mother hopes cannabis bill passes in House

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Senate cleared a bill that would allow people with epilepsy to have access to cannabis oil. Many families are in favor if this. Such as Erica Walker’s. Her daughter Mallory was born healthy, no indications of illness. Shortly after, that all changed. “It was extremely difficult every day to look at your child and not know what the outcome was going to be,” Walker said.

At two months old, Mallory started having multiple seizures every day. “It was at that time that they were able to diagnose her with a brain malformation which caused intractable epilepsy so after about three medications the seizures were not stopping.”

At six months old Erica and her family took Mallory to Cleveland for brain surgery, a specific procedure not offered in Indiana. By 16 months old, Mallory’s left side of her brain was nearly entirely removed. The now five-year-old girl hasn’t had a seizure since. But if there was the option of the cannabis oil now making its way through state legislation, Erica would have rethought surgery. “You think about having your child’s brain removed, it’s the most radical surgery that there is, and having another option to try before that we would have absolutely chosen to do that.”

The author of the bill says it’s for families like Erica’s that he started working on this three years ago.

“We’ve opened up some sunshine in the lives of these families and they have hope now and I want to keep that hope going until we finally accomplish this one. That’s my intention,” Senator Jim Tomes said.

He hopes questions will be answered for those against it and the bill fully passes. One of the senators who sponsored Senate Bill 15 thinks it has a chance.

“It’s hard to find opponents on a bill seeking to heal children. I want families to have the opportunity to use CBD oil as an alternative to other medications without fear of prosecution,” Senator Bill Friend said.

Erica Walkers described it as opening a whole new world for people with epilepsy. Now, they’ll wait as the bill goes to the house.