Patient Name: Jack Splitt
Condition: Severe Spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy with debilitating Dystonia, chronic pain and nausea
Using medical cannabis since: July 2014 – August 24, 2016
Why did Jack start using medical cannabis?
Stacey Linn: When Jack hit puberty his Dystonia (constant, severe muscle contractions all over his body that caused contortions, pain and vomiting) became unmanageable. He was taking up to 10 pharmaceutical medicines, most of which were not specifically for Dystonia. All of the medications sedated him to the point of being unable to think, or even keep his mouth closed, or smile. Jack was nonverbal and dependant on a specially molded wheelchair to sit up. He could not use his arms or legs.
Cannabis started working for Jack immediately and I was able to wean him off 85 percent of his medications. He returned to being his bright, engaged self. He was relieved of a great deal of pain and anxiety associated with the Dystonia. He was also healthier in general. In the years prior to cannabis he was constantly hospitalized for respiratory disease. The first year on cannabis he was only admitted to the hospital twice for respiratory illness, whereas previous years he spent, on average, 10 weeks in the hospital. While on MMJ, Jack was able to lobby with me, his mother, to pass a groundbreaking law in Colorado to allow children like him to take MMJ at school. He was able to sit for hours through committee hearings and visit legislators to help educate them on the benefit of MMJ and the necessity of being able to take it at school. His bravery and bright, engaging spirit changed thousands of hearts and minds.
What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?
The scariest issue facing MMJ patients right now is the effort by cities and counties to create policies that circumvent the state constitutions that legalized medical marijuana and allowed patients to grow their own medicine. There are many ballot initiatives this November that restrict the ability of patients to grow their own medicine by limiting plant counts and ban the manufacture of oil-based medicine. MMJ patients like Jack need large quantities of oil concentrate to treat their illnesses.
What do you say to folks that are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?
“So was I!” We have all been raised with the antiquated prohibitionist attitudes about marijuana as a dangerous drug. In fact, cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years—and was quite commonly used in this country until it was criminalized in 1937 for political reasons. The ensuing propaganda taught generations the wrong idea about marijuana. It is safe and non-toxic. There have been zero reported deaths from marijuana use to date. Compare the safety of marijuana to the epidemic of deaths from pharmaceutical overdoses—not to mention the addiction problems and dangerous drug interactions. Jack and thousands of others are living proof that medical marijuana works. It stops seizures, pain, muscle spasms, treats cancer and PTSD where traditional pharmaceuticals fail and/or cause additional harm. It causes no harm. Allow yourself to be educated. Meet some real cannabis patients. Listen to their story of recovery and see with your own eyes what cannabis has done for them. Reversing the false information will only happen by learning the facts. Contact me at CannAbility, my foundation, which has a broad constituency of medical marijuana patients. Talk to them. We can give you countless research on the efficacy of marijuana medicine. Read it. Do this even you are fortunate enough not to have a debilitating condition. Please be compassionate.