I have really mixed feelings about this story. I’m proud and happy that Colorado is leading the way in this innovative treatment of such a destructive disease. But it’s unfortunate that families are forced into such a difficult decision because the other states can’t get their shit together. I’m also concerned that we don’t yet have sufficient high-CBD product to supply the demand, particularly with so many medical marijuana dispensaries considering converting to recreational sales. High-CBD strains are not popular recreationally, but are in high demand medicinally. If every MMC would commit a percentage of their grow to a high-CBD strain to be turned into oil and edibles, we would be in a better position to supply these young and elderly patients with the greatest need for this medicine.
Families of children with severe epilepsy are moving to Colorado from all over the country to get the oil that appears to have worked medical miracles. Parents are splitting up families and leaving behind careers to try a new treatment that strict federal drug laws have prevented from being rigorously studied or tested. They hope success here will push their states and the federal government to change marijuana laws.
In the meantime, they are leaving big cities and quiet farmland, blue states and the Bible Belt, and heading to the Rockies. They are rich and poor, Muslims like the Halabis and conservative Christians like their new next-door neighbors, who just moved with their epileptic daughter from Virginia. The one common thread is hope that marijuana can save their children.
They call themselves marijuana refugees.
“These families are really desperate,” said Dr. Margaret Gedde, a Stanford-educated Colorado Springs pathologist who has recommended many of the arriving children for medical marijuana. “They’ve tried all the drugs, and nothing has worked. This is the only option left.”
At least 18 families have moved in the last few months. An additional 14 will arrive in the next few weeks as a new batch of the oil becomes available.