Families Uprooting to Marijuana-Friendly States to Treat Children

In a report published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, journalist Lisa Bernard-Kuhn found several families in Ohio, where legalization of medical marijuana is currently pending, who are eagerly fleeing the confines of the Midwestern state for places where they can treat their ill children.

The story, which echoes that of Barbara Kutchback, a Georgia-based advocate for medical marijuana whose 3-year-old granddaughter suffers from epilepsy, shares the intimate details of young children whose prescribed medications do not assuage their symptoms. Children with severe epilepsy are prone to near-constant life-threatening seizures.

Two-year-old Addyson Benton has severe epilepsy and is currently on a waiting list for a medical strain of marijuana called Charlotte's Web. When she is approved, her family will move to Colorado for access.

This particular strain of the drug is high in cannabidiol, "a chemical that is thought to have medicinal properties," and is low in THC. In Florida, researchers have invested $1 million in studying the benefits of Charlotte's Web for epileptic children.

Addyson Benton's mother Heather told The Cincinnati Enquirer,

"When we first heard about Charlotte's Web, we brushed it off, like so many people do. But then we began researching, and hearing the stories; we were sold. Our doctors here who are seeing kids that have failed all these other medications should be telling families that there may be another option."

Because the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, scientific studies and tests on the drug are limited. The move to medical marijuana-friendly states is a last hope for families who see no improvement from prescribed medications.

There are currently 20 states where medical marijuana is approved.

[Image via AP]