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Parents from Virginia Call for Cannabis Legalization For Epileptic Daughter

By Parent Herald Staff Reporter / Jun 08, 2015 08:36 AM EDT

Tags : epilepsy, cannabis, marijuana, CBD, THCa, Lisa Smith, Dravet syndrome, Harry Smith, Bobby Smith, colorado, Paige Figi, Joel Stanley, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabidiol, Virginia, Jennifer Collins, Jeavons syndrome, Patrick Collins, Beth Collins

 The Smiths

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Lisa Smith, a mom from Virginia, has a daughter named Haley, 14, who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a severe and fatal form of epilepsy.

In her NBC interview with Harry Smith, Lisa and husband, Bobby shared the difficulties and pain they encountered while raising Haley. According to Bobby, Haley was diagnosed when she was only seven and the whole experience before that was terrible for the family.

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Bobby told NBC News in a separate interview, “That was a true roller coaster. It was awful the first seven years ’cause we didn’t know what was wrong with her.”

The family felt very helpless with Haley’s condition, until Lisa discovered the wonders of Cannabis from another mom in Colorado.

Paige Figi from Colorado has a daughter named Charlotte, who has the same condition as Haley’s. Figi experienced the Smiths struggle; hers was even worse because her husband was assigned in Afghanistan and she felt so alone. She was about to give up when they were sent home from the hospital, after doctors announced they could not do anything with Charlotte’s condition.

Figi told NBC News that out of desperation, she prayed for her daughter to die rather than suffer; because seeing the child’s pain was a torment to her. Figi searched online for one last resort and discovered about marijuana. She was lucky because she was living in the state where medicinal marijuana is legal.

She worked with Joel Stanley, a medicinal marijuana grower, and they extracted oil from Cannabis for Charlotte’s medication. Cannabis is low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high in Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that gets one high, while CBD is the compound that allegedly alleviates seizures. Figi told Harry Smith, that Charlotte has 300 seizures every week, but that stopped after giving her CBD oil.

Another family from Virginia, the Collins, heard about the wonder of Cannabis and moved to Colorado to try the potential treatment for their daughter, Jennifer.

Jennifer was diagnosed with Jeavons Syndrome and her parents, Patrick and Beth worried about the side effects of the strong anti-epilepsy drugs that were prescribed to their daughter. The couple said that “Charlotte Web” did not work for their daughter but THCa oil worked.

Beth and Patrick were overjoyed with the improvements they observed in their daughter after giving her THCa oil. However, the family was suffering from separation anxiety. They moved back to Virginia after a year and decided to lobby the legislature of legalizing THCa and CBD oils in their home state.

The Smiths, the Collins and Teresa Elder, who also has a son with the same condition as Haley, attended the Virginia General Assembly meeting hearing and tried to convince them to grant cannabis oil access. They are all hopeful that Cannabis will be the answer to their children’s illnesses.

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