Meet the 5 year old girl who changed the image of cannabis in the US

Meet the 5 year old girl who changed the image of cannabis in the US

After decades of scare-tactics, misinformation from supposed experts, like the testimony of Dr. James C. Munch, a marijuana “expert” who was called as a witness in two murder trials in 1938, who actually went on record to say:
“After two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat.”-
and a literal all out war on drugs, the attitudes about cannabis, and other drugs, are shifting. How in the world did we get the whole country to change their minds? Who do we have to thank for turning the wheels to legal weed? Well, it was actually a 5 year old girl, named Charlotte…

In the summer of 2013, a reporter for CNN did a story about a little girl named Charlotte Figi. Charlotte suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that gives her seizures that typical seizure medications cannot control, called Dravet Syndrome. A strange, and powerful form that wracked her tiny body with up to 300 grand mal seizures a week at its worst. Charlotte’s father, Matt, was a Green Beret. A career military man, and her mother, Paige had always voted against cannabis legalization. Matt and Paige, only turned to cannabis after they were told that the doctors could no longer do anything for their 5 year old daughter, short of placing her in a medically induced coma to ease the trauma of the constant seizures. Matt left the military when Charlotte was 2.5 to be home with his family full time and search for answers to his little girl’s troubling condition. Charlotte was routinely being rushed into the hospital with another seizure, each one carrying more threat than the last. Eventually, the seizures began stopping her heart. Matt and Paige had signed do not resuscitate orders for their child, because the strain of having her heart restarted over and over again would kill her eventually anyway. There was nothing left for them to do or try, except cannabis.

Matt discovered cannabis on the internet and decided to give it a shot. Nothing could be worse than what they were living with, and they had already tried special diets, acupuncture, and heavy drugs like benzodiazepines which were creating seriously undesirable side effects in little Charlotte- who could no longer feed herself.. Finding a doctor who would allow the use of it would be a whole separate challenge for them. After being told NO by practically every physician in the area, they finally found Dr. Margaret Gedde. Dr Gedde weighed the risks and damage with the medications and the condition, and approved the treatment. Paige found a reputable collective, purchased 2 ounces for $800 and gave it to a friend to extract the oil. They took the oil to a lab to have it tested for impurities, and then started the dosing on Charlotte. Within an hour, they already noticed a difference- after two, then three hours- they were awestruck.

The Figis were now on the hunt for a constant supply. They heard about a group of growers who had developed high CBD strains that no one wanted because they didn’t get you high. They were having trouble selling it, so they worked a deal with the Figis for the flowers, and began the development of the strain we know today as Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte gets a dose twice a day in her food. Three to four milligrams of oil per pound of her body weight stopped the seizures. Charlotte has gone from having 300 seizures a week to just one. Her strain, Charlotte’s Web is now used to treat hundreds of children.

With more than half the nation in favor of legalization, even according to FOX News- why is it taking so long for our government to hear the people about allowing the sale and use of cannabis? There are dozens of theories on the why. Most of which include at least a portion of the statement “the government is greedy and wants to take our money” which may be true- but our banks sure don’t. You can't put drug money into a bank- not even if the drug is cannabis.
Canada has fully legalized it, and there are beginning to be banks and credit unions in the US who will actually accept cannabis money. As we inch ever closer to legalization, the existing governments at local and state levels have already begun to asses the risks- and the rewards…and we have Charlotte Figi and her parents to thank for the progress we have made, because she changed the face of cannabis to the politicians, and to a whole bunch of Americans who had simply never thought about it that way.



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