Berkeley family led the drive to legalize the first cannabis-derived drug in the US

Sam Vogelstein and his mother, Evelyn Nussenbaum. Photo: Sam Vogelstein

By the time he was six, Sam, the son of Evelyn Nussenbaum, Berkeleyside’s video storytelling producer, was having dozens of epileptic seizures a day. Nussenbaum and her husband, Fred Vogelstein, discovered that a British-made, cannabis-based drug stopped the convulsions. But they couldn’t use the medicine in the U.S. because it was illegal. Their push to bring the medicine to the U.S. eventually proved successful. Sam is now 17 and, earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration approved its first cannabis-derived drug. Nussenbaum has written about her family’s experience. 

My son Sam Vogelstein pioneered Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived drug approved by the FDA.

By pioneered I mean this: our family found the medication, convinced its British maker to let us try it, and helped set in motion its launch and path to

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