ELLSINORE, MO (KFVS) - A week ago, we reported about Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill into law allowing people with epilepsy to legally use cannabis oil.
Now, one Heartland family says this drug could save their son's life by stopping him from having seizures. However, state health officials tell Tom and Carrie Chaney it could be a year before they can get it, which, they say, could be too late.
"Every time he laughs, you laugh with him, but then you wonder 'Is that the last time?'" Carrie Chaney said.
The Chaney's say their son, Richard, can have up to 25 seizures a day. Currently, is parents give him a shot to stop the seizures once they've started.
"This is his savior right here," Tom Chaney said as he holds the syringe.
Richard has autism and epilepsy.
"I don't want to violate any laws. This is a life saving tool that should be readily available to us," Tom Chaney said.
He's talking about cannabis oil, which was made legal last week. The Chaneys call it a miracle drug because, they say, it has the power to stop their son's seizures and potentially save his life.
"I don't want to ever think about not having my son," Carrie Chaney said.
Tom Chaney said once the bill was signed, he started making calls to get the oil, which is now also known as Charlotte's Web.
"I call the Department of Health and I get a cold shoulder. People don't know what I'm talking about. They put me through to someone else. I'm on hold for hours at a time," Tom Chaney said.
The Health Department along with the Department of Agriculture are in charge of making rules to implement the law.
According to spokesperson Ryan Hobart, "The departments are in the process of drafting these rules, which will then be filed with the Missouri Secretary of State."
Chaney said workers with the Health Department told him that could take up to 12 months.
"We need this legal and we need access for it now. We can't wait a year," Tom Chaney said.
We also asked Hobart how long the process will take. He has yet to respond.
Richard's neurologist said studies on animals show the oil does have benefits.
"What will happen to human beings and the pediatric population, it's difficult to say right now, but anecdotally, yes, people have reported good results." Dr. Shahid Choudhary said.
However, Dr. Choudhary said he'd like to see more research done before signing off on the drug.
"In medicine, we don't want to harm the patient without documentation or documented proof that it is going to work," Dr. Choudhary said.
However, the Chaney's say they know many people who've used cannabis oil and their success stories are proof enough for them. Now, they say state departments need to make the legal drug available.
"It doesn't take a lot at all to get this registry up and running. We need to get on this. Kids are dying out here," Tom Chaney said.
"How would they feel if they took their child in their arms while they're convulsing and having a seizure, singing 'Jesus Loves You' because you never know," Carrie Chaney said.
The Chaney's say if this process continues to move slowly, they're considering moving to a state where the drug is readily available. They say the risk that comes along with not having the oil is just too great.
For more information about cannabis oil being used to help children with epilepsy, Tom Chaney recommends visiting this website: faceofcannabis.wordpress.com