Norfolk family praises passage of medical marijuana oil bill to treat epilepsy

Posted at 1:01 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 18:07:03-05

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - A Norfolk family is praising the passage of a bill in the General Assembly that allows for the production and use of marijuana oils to treat patients with epilepsy.

Anna Prather-Weber started noticing the seizures in her daughter Rubina around the time she was nine years old. Rubina is now 17 and the family has tried everything imaginable to help her cope with the diagnosis of intractable epilepsy.

"We've been to Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins, Duke and no one could really help us. She’s been on over 12 pharmaceuticals, which none of them have given her any relief," Prather-Weber told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Friday.

Rubina is prone to seizures at any time and the family must constantly be vigilant.

"It’s kind of like running a marathon and then waking up and not really knowing where you are," Rubina explained.

Rubina and her mother say the cannabis oil has been the only treatment that seems to help.

"It makes me feel better," Rubina stated.

"When she’s on the oil she’s more herself, she has less seizures," Prather-Weber shared. "This does not get you high. It’s healing. It’s healing children that had no hope before and now they have hope and they are better."

The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.

"I am so proud of Virginia lawmakers because we across the board, Democrats, Republicans, they all understood and they all got it," Prather-Weber commented.

Now she says she has hope for both her daughter and hundreds of other families dealing with similar situations.

"We’re not a 100 percent there yet, but at least now you can untie the hands of professionals even doctors who will come out of the closet and start working with it and understanding it."

The legislation now heads to the desk of Governor Terry McAuliffe.