CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 6-year-old Charleston girl, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, took her first dose of cannabis oil almost one week ago after her mother fought to change the medical marijuana laws in South Carolina.
Jill Swing says her daughter, Mary Louise, has suffered from epilepsy since she was a ten months old, having 30 to 60 seizures per hour.
"We just felt like there wasn't anything else that was going to help us. We had to start looking for alternatives or else face the fact this is the way life is going to be like for her."
Mary Louise is now taking three doses a day of CBD oil, a derivative of marijuana that does no contain THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes the "high" effect.
Jill says her daughter is having a fraction of the number of seizures, is more stable and aware. And, Mary Louise, who has been non-verbal for most of her life, is saying more words and phrases.
"She does still have seizures, but it has been a significant decrease. I would say 70 to 75 percent."
Jill says two anti-epileptic drugs are also part of her daughter's regimen, and while she's encouraged by her progress, she admits she's also cautious.
"I don't want to get my hopes up too much because we've tried so many medications, and a lot of times what happens is they'll work for a little while and then they stop working."
A legislative panel is being urged to expand the conditions for which medical marijuana is prescribed. State Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort says while doctors can prescribe the oil, federal laws prohibit it from crossing state lines.