Northeast Ohio family seeks medical cannabis in Colorado to find effective treatment for seizures

ABC News Channel 5 | October 24, 2013 | by  Lee Jordan

Answer for rare form of epilepsy may be cannabis

CLEVELAND - When Jordan Lyles was six months old, she started having devastating seizures. It took 10 and a half years for multiple specialists in several states to figure out she had Dravet syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy. After powerful prescription drugs failed to control her potentially fatal seizures, her family made a difficult but determined decision to seek treatment with medical cannabis in Colorado, a state where marijuana use of any kind is legal.

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The long search for effective seizure control medicine has led the Lyles family to make a radical move: they have split up the family for now so Jordan can have access to medical marijuana. Paula and Jordan are now living in Colorado, going through the steps required to get Jordan CBD - a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. It is extracted as oil, does not give a "high" and has shown some promise for treating epilepsy and other conditions. They hope a current initiative to put medical marijuana before Ohio voters in 2014 is successful so they can eventually get that same treatment here and come home.

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CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta spent over a year researching medical marijuana, its use here and around the world, and it completely changed the way he thought about cannabis as medicine - which he once opposed.

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"You start to realize this is a medication, one that can work when other drugs don't work. And it can be a lot safer for children who have this intractable epilepsy," Gupta said.

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In Ohio, the current petition drive needs 385,000 signatures to get a medical marijuana law on the ballot next year. John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group, said the proposed amendment to the state constitution would establish "the right for users to have therapeutic cannabis, to grow, utilize, sell, transport and manufacture. It's not something that could be taken away, struck down by a court, usurped or defunded."

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