In Canada, Parents Vow To Give Their Sick Children Medical Marijuana — Even If Doctors Won’t

In Canada, Parents Vow To Give Their Sick Children Medical Marijuana — Even If Doctors Won’t

In Children, Top Stories by Chris DollardLeave a Comment

For years, Sarah Wilkinson woke up every day wondering if it would be her daughter’s last. When she was a baby, Mia was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that caused her to suffer waves of intense seizures — sometimes up to 100 episodes in one day. To make matters worse, the dozens of pills Mia’s doctor had prescribed for her condition weren’t working and she was miserable all the time. “She sometimes had seizures that would last up to 23 hours and she would have to be put into a medically-induced coma,” recalls Wilkinson, who lives with her family outside of Calgary, Alberta. “And whenever she would have a big seizure, my two sons would start panicking because she would be turning blue.” That all changed two years ago, when Wilkinson found a doctor at the Alberta Children’s Hospital who agreed to sign off on a medical marijuana prescription for Mia. In Canada, it’s doctors who are the gatekeepers for this treatment, even though marijuana is not recognized by the federal government as a valid medicine. Wilkinson started turning the dry buds into oil and giving it to Mia orally through a dropper. Even though ingesting medical marijuana this way was illegal in Canada until last month, she didn’t want her child smoking it. Within a few short months, Mia stopped having seizures altogether and eventually went off the pills. It was like a miracle cure, said Wilkinson. For the first time in her life, Mia, who is now nine, could go camping with her family and watch her brothers’ hockey games without fear of seizing or being in pain. “It’s given us our life back. It’s allowed for a little bit of normalcy, and a lot more freedom,” said Wilkinson. But last month, Wilkinson was devastated when […]

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