Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Family with Epileptic Child Wants Law Allowing Her to Use Medical Marijuana

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Family with Epileptic Child Wants Law Allowing Her to Use Medical Marijuana

Article excerpt

Family wants sick child to get medical pot

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PENTICTON, B.C. - When a retired police officer from Summerland, B.C., left his job after 25 years, he hardly imagined fighting for his little granddaughter to be given marijuana.

Chris Nuessler, along with his wife Elaine, wants Canada to allow two-year-old Kyla Williams to be given a form of medical marijuana known to prevent seizures resulting from epilepsy.

The girl's parents, Jared and Courtney Williams, along with the Nuesslers, have been researching medical pot use and speaking with experts to build what they're calling "Kyla's medical team."

They say Kyla has suffered severe side effects from prescription drugs when she could be helped like other children in the United States.

A strain of marijuana commonly called Charlotte's Web has been known to help kids in the U.S., but it's illegal in Canada.

It contains very little THC, which provides the buzz recreational pot users crave, and is mostly made up of CBD, which limits the severity and frequency of seizures.

Named after a little girl named Charlotte Figi who has epilepsy, the weed has allowed her to develop and enjoy a more normal life.

In Canada, the only form of legalized medical marijuana is dried, meaning Kyla would have to smoke it.

Chris Nuessler said his view of marijuana as medicine has radically changed since his policing days.

"For me it was back to the 1980s and 1990s mindset when I was busting people. I had to do a 180 (degree turn) and start researching this."

Kyla appeared to be a healthy, little girl for the first six months of her life until her mother noticed she wasn't progressing at a normal rate and had unusual eye movements.

After she was seen by a pediatrician, Kyla was rushed to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where she was diagnosed with retractable seizure disorder.

Over the next year, the little girl was placed on a series of prescription drug mixtures, received steroid shots and was given a high fat diet.

She even developed a kidney stone. …

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