DALE TODD: Well, unfortunately, I don’t have a neat saying on the back of my shirt, but my name is Dale Todd, and I’m the former chair of the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation. I serve on the board of directors at the Iowa-Illinois-Nebraska Epilepsy Foundation, and I’m vice chair of legal and public policy for the National Epilepsy Foundation.
Epilepsy is the largest neurological disease out there, and we represent hundreds of thousands of patients across this country. I’m here because I was asked to be here by people who I know who use — use marijuana for assistance with their seizure control.
In 2005 the National Epilepsy Page 119 Foundation publicly released a statement that is about their stance on — on medical use of marijuana, and I won’t read the whole thing, but I’ll just do a paragraph. “In countries where medical use of marijuana is legal, a number of people with epilepsy report beneficial effects from using marijuana, including a decrease in seizure activity. People who promote the medical use of marijuana often include treatment of epilepsy in a long list of disorders for which marijuana is supposed to be beneficial.”
Currently we are advocating for increased research from the National Institute of Science. Our epilepsy board, our national board, is — it consists of a neurologist, epileptologist, pharmacist, drug companies, and people who have been impacted by this — this deadly disease.
In our upcoming board meeting, we will be studying this stance that we put together in 2005, and I would suspect not only will we update it, but it will be a more aggressive and that it will probably come along the lines of advocating more for the use of — the legalized use of marijuana for patients who have epilepsy.
Pharmacists, somebody who could Page 120 probably tell just as well as I could, the seizure meds have similar impacts. Characteristics of opiates and some of the benzos are similar to the drugs that are found in THC. Those drugs are used when you have random neuronic excitability, when you have randomized firing that’s not necessarily controlled.
What we do in those cases with legalized medication, we — we mimic the — the actions that actually happen in a case, and so what I would ask you to do is consider this.
You have, and I’m aware of people in this state who unfortunately are afraid to say who they are but who use marijuana to help with the control of their seizure activity, and they are still productive members of our society, and they manage to lead a decent life, even though the quality of their life has been impacted by this deadly disease.
So thank you for your time. Best of luck.