Several states in the country have passed laws which allow the use of medical marijuana in recent years. Some laws, like in California or Michigan, cover a wide array of illnesses and/or disorders. Others, like Florida’s “Charlotte’s Web” law, are more focused on neurological disorders like epilepsy or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Regardless of the laws, parents across America are turning to medical marijuana as treatment for their children suffering from neurological diseases, and many are experiencing remarkable results.
Angela Brown, from Madison, Minnesota, is one of these parents.
Her 15-year-old son, Trey, suffered a traumatic brain injury during a pick-up baseball game with his friends three years ago. Since then, Trey has had severe headaches, muscle spasms, and seizures to the point that he couldn’t go to school and began punching and cutting himself, according to Valley News Live.
“It just hurts in my brain everywhere,” Trey said. “I really can’t explain the pain.”
“No mother should have to hold their child so they don’t hurt themselves. He didn’t want to live” said Angela, who calls the medical marijuana a lifesaver.
Last year, the Browns traveled to Colorado, where they used medical cannabis as a treatment.
Within an hour of Trey using the medical marijuana, Angela said she could tell a difference. “Once it hit his system, Trey said the pressure in his brain was relieved,” she told the Huffington Post. “You could literally see the muscle spasms stopping. He felt amazing.”
“I felt better; the pain went away,” said Trey.
But when Trey’s school found out that cannabis oil was responsible for his recovery, they were none too pleased.
“It was a week later when my mom called and said, ‘The cops are looking for you,’” said Angela.
Officials confiscated the oil and charged Angela with “child endangerment and causing a child to need protection,” reported Valley News.
Despite the fact that Minnesota has passed a law similar to the Charlotte’s Web law, Angela is facing up to two years in jail and a $6,000 because the law doesn’t go into effect until next year.
Angela and her defense attorney, Michael Hughes, rejected a plea deal and will be taking the case to trial.
“The prosecutor’s version of this is that a good mom allows her child to be in pain, to self-harm, and attempt to take his life,” Angela said. “I guess that’s a good mom in his eyes.”
Without the cannabis oil, Trey’s symptoms have returned. “He’s got the muscle spasm, the pain, everything back to where it was before,” said Trey’s father, David Brown.
Strains of medical marijuana like Charlotte’s Web, which are low in THC and high in cannabidiol and don’t get the users “high” like other strains, have proven to be a miracle drug for patients who don’t respond to other forms of treatment. Until the out-dated and inhumane laws are changed, countless patients like Trey will continue to suffer and parents like the Browns will be labeled as criminals for simply trying to help their children.
Amy is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow her on Twitter @AEddings31.