NEW ORLEANS - A Metairie mother of four, says if Louisiana doesn't change its laws on medical marijuana, parents of sick children will consider moving to Colorado.
And she's taking her position to top state leaders.
Kelly Fournier is a mother on a mission. Her daughter Sloane, 15, has constant seizures from a genetic birth defect. She's written Governor Jindal, Senator Vitter and today met with Senator Landrieu's staff.
"We want to legalize marijuana basically for the cannabis oil because we are running out of options for Sloane. We have taken all the meds. We've done the diet," said Fournier.
She wants to use CBD oil from the plant leaf in Sloane's feeding tube. Doctors say there are research surveys where parents report CBD lessens the frequency of seizures, particularly for treatment resistant children. But good studies are lacking.
"This is not regulated at all. This is not the same as taking a pill, so you know what you're getting, that's been proven the effective dose of this, and the long term effects, and the short term side effects of this we don't have that. So it's very early to say and to go and push for advocacy on something that we just don't know," said Dr. Jose' Calderon, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center.
The oil is not the THC in marijuana that causes the brain effects. Both the doctor and mother say that it's hard to get research done since marijuana is a Schedule I drug. Advocates working with her say other families with sick children are moving to Colorado where it's legal. And they say other countries are moving science forward.
"There's a lot of studies going on in Europe and actually Israel. Israel is becoming a world leader in researching the uses of cannabis for different ailments," said Kevin Caldwell an advocate for legalizing marijuana.
Experts say advocacy should not substitute careful analysis and scientific evidence, while loved ones don't want to wait.
Senator Mary Landrieu's office says that she has not yet been briefed on this issue.
Senator David Vitter wrote to Ms. Fournier that he is not in favor of ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.
And Governor Jindal's office wrote to her that any changes had to be addressed through the legislature.