An Ohio family with a three-year-old daughter who has up to 1,000 seizures a day has moved 1,200 miles to Colorado in hopes of getting treatment in the form of medical marijuana.
Addyson Benton, of Liberty Township, was diagnosed with myoclonic epilepsy at 9 months old, which have delayed her communication and motor-skill growth. And though she’s tried at least ten anti-seizure drugs, nothing seems to reduce her symptoms.
Hence, in order to combat her seizures, Addyson Benton’s family have relocate Denver, where they could legally purchase a marijuana-extract, a growing hub specially designed for Addyson that has THCA, a biosynthetic precursor of THC, the active component of cannabis.
In an interview with ABC affiliate WCPO, Addyson’s mother Heather Benton explained, far from babies with bongs, her daughter’s treatment comes in the form of a simple non-psychoactive patch.
[It’s] just like a nicotine patch,” says Heather Benton (mother of Addyson).
Within hours of taking the patch, Addyson’s health improved dramatically. In addition to the drastic drop in daily seizures, Addyson’s mother told Mic she also noticed improvements in her ability to walk and say new words.
Her walking is better, her talking is better, her attention is better. It’s phenomenal the changes we have seen in her these two weeks, but it has not controlled her seizures. We really need to jump on top of that while she’s growing,” said Heather Benton.
At the state level, less than half of the country makes provisions for those seeking medical marijuana to treat afflictions like epilepsy. While more and more states are getting there (even some unlikely ones, like Texas) every day spent tied up in committee hearings delays this potentially life-saving treatment from coming to people like Addyson.
On the other hand, putting aside the debate about the safety of recreational marijuana, which itself has largely been settled, there is now almost universal consensus that medical marijuana can be an effective and powerful treatment for a multitude of ailments. Several studies have found that medical marijuana can have profound positive effects on not just epilepsy, but Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and even irritable bowl syndrome.
It breaks our heart to think of all the kids who are left behind because they can’t afford to move out. I can’t help but think that if [Ohio] Governor were faced with this from his own grandchild … that he wouldn’t make a difference or a change for Ohioans,” expressed Benton.
So, now, organizations are trying to get the legalization of marijuana on the Ohio ballot for November.