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After Cannabis Drug Approved For Epilepsy Patients, North Texas Families Still Waiting

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - As Oklahoma wrestles with how to implement medical marijuana approved by voters, and a federal agency approved a new treatment, some North Texas families are hoping for their own opportunity to utilize the drug.

"It might not work," said Manolo Banda. "But I think as a parent you want to exhaust all options."

At his Garland home Monday, Banda's daughter Valentina chewed on cereal, and pawed happily at her mother's iPhone. There was very little to make you think she was different from any other happy, healthy, 1-year-old.

"We're lucky and we're blessed to have her rebound as well as she did," Banda said.

Valentina Banda
Valentina Banda

He says that because most of one side of his daughters brain, doesn't function – the result of complications at birth, a stroke, and recurring small seizures— that have to be controlled with steroids and seizure medications.

"She's sitting down? She might not sit down anymore," said Angie Ochoa. "Because the seizures might mess up. If she's talking and saying words, she might not say them anymore. And she has to relearn them again."

The treatments can cause weight fluctuation, organ and immune system stress, raising the couple's interest in CBD oil, made from cannabis, as an option.

"We have tons of friends who have done the more natural route on their own, and their kids are seizure free," Ochoa said.

While the FDA, and voters in Oklahoma have recently opened the door to CBD treatment, Texas law only allows it when nothing else works.

They have trouble getting opinions from doctors.

They could drive out of state, but know there would be a risk once back home.

They also admit, it might *not be the answer, but for a child who's overcome so much, they're still hoping for the option to try.

"At least you did everything you could, that's natural, that's not harming her body, to take care of your child," Banda said. "That's really what you're here for, to take care of them."

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