Knox County family fights for cannabis oil treatment

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- House Bill 197 passed the Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday, March 18th. If approved , it will allow people with seizures to use CBD cannabis oil with a doctor's recommendation.


A Knoxville family says they can't give their son the medicine they believe would help his condition.

Seeing their baby for the first time, it's a day most mothers can't wait for. Although Sandy Bush gave birth to her son, Cameron she says that meeting was slightly delayed.

“I felt like Cam around 10 months old is when we finally got to actually meet him for the first time,” she says.

Doctors diagnosed Cameron with a form of epilepsy called infantile spasms when he was just nine months old.

“We knew he wasn't developing right...he couldn't roll over, he didn't really make eye contact."

Now that Cameron is two and a half years old, Sandy and her husband Brian aren't sure if they'll ever see their son walk.

Sandy says, "I have days when I'm sad, I think about it everyday."

Cameron takes half a dozen pills a day; piling medication, on top of medication.

His father, Brian says, "The doses that we had him on he was just kind of zoned out, not paying attention to us or anything around him, there's side effects of all these medications that he's on and we're having to have other medications to combat the side effects."

“It took us about a year to finally get some seizure control again so you just never know,” adds Sandy.

After doing some research the Bush's have become advocates of cannabis oil as a treatment for epilepsy. At least one legislator supports them.

"What I want to see is that a parent can give their child anything they need to give their child and have freedom from the law prosecuting them,” says Jeremy Faison, State Representative for the 11th House District.

Faison introduced House Bill 197 - decriminalizing the use of cannabis oil for medical use.

He says, “They need to be in the driver seat of their child's health and the government doesn't need to be in the way dictating what a parent can give and can't give to their child."

While the Bush's wait on the outcome of the bill, Cameron continues to rely on pills.

“The sad thing about the medicines and the pills that they're taking, the Bush family for this child destroys that little body,” says Faison.

“It's hard to gain and lose your child all the time and it's got to be hard for them, we don't know how he feels, he can't tell us how he feels,” says Sandy.

The bill has been assigned to a committee. A sub committee will hear it Tuesday. If it makes it past Tuesday - the bill will then go before a full committee.