Statement on Georgia Football Player and NCAA’s Decision to Not Allow Him to Play College Football

Photo of a Football

Epilepsy News From:

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to supporting physician-directed care, and to exploring and advocating for all potential treatment options for epilepsy, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil and medical cannabis. We support safe, legal access to medical cannabis and CBD if a patient and their health care team feel that the potential benefits of medical cannabis or CBD for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks. While we believe further research is needed on the effects of medical cannabis on epilepsy, when recommended by a treating physician, medical cannabis may be the best alternative for some individuals living with drug-resistant epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures.

Not everyone with epilepsy should or would consider CBD/medical cannabis as a treatment option, and further research is needed on the connection between cannabis and seizures. In the case of C.J. Harris, it is unfortunate that he is not being allowed to play college football. We do not know the history of C.J.’s seizures and do not have specific details about his medical treatment plan, therefore we can’t comment specifically on his use of CBD to control his seizures.

The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to advocating for people with epilepsy live their fullest lives and realize their dreams.

We urge the NCAA to review their existing guidelines on THC and explore possible exceptions to allow players under medical treatment, like C.J., the ability to fulfill their dreams of playing college football. We hope the NCAA would reconsider their decision and assess C.J. on his character and talent as a football player.

-Phil Gattone, President and CEO, Epilepsy Foundation

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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