July 2, 2016
By Jason Brusse
Minnesota celebrates one year of medical marijuana.
On July 1st, 2015, Minnesota launched its medical marijuana program. On the same date, eligibility for the program also expanded to a new age group. After one year, Minnesotans gathered to celebrate the anniversary by sharing success stories.
- Medical Marijuana was proposed for legalization in 2014;
- The bill finally passed almost one year later on July 1st, 2015;
- Medical Marijuana treatment has had an 87 percent success rate;
- People suffering from intractable pain will be able to be treated with medical cannabis in Minnesota starting August 2016.
Harlow Hundley is going to be four years old this year. Harlow was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, which is one of the most severe forms of epilepsy. Dravet Syndrome causes individuals to have constant epilepsy seizures.
Harlow suffered from Dravet Syndrome since birth. The seizures and pain broke her parents’ hearts and let to severe developmental issues. However, because Harlow lives in Minnesota, starting with 2015, she was given a chance at trying to live her life.
Her parents have celebrated a year with their daughter. Starting July 1st, 2015, they were able to buy cannabis oil, one of many forms of medical marijuana, from Minnesota Medical Solutions. Before being able to take the cannabis oil, Harlow had to take benzodiazepines, a mix of powerful painkillers which have serious side effects, one of which being guaranteed addiction. The drug also did not reduce the frequency of her seizures but instead made them more tolerable.
At four years old, Harlow communicates with the world through gestures and with the use of an iPad. Her parents believe their daughter now has a shot at a more regular life and that she will be able to grow up a lot more normal. Before 2015, they have been present in the media on repeated accounts, attempting to spread awareness towards legalization of medical marijuana.
Alec Kelsey is 20 years old. He suffers from a severe form of epilepsy as well. He has had to deal with the seizures all his life. His parents celebrated the fact that for one year, they were able to talk to their son. They felt like they were truly getting to know him and connect with him.
Alec is now able to play sports through the Special Olympics. His parents also proudly shared that he was able to be part of a weekend-long basketball tournament and not suffer any seizures.The Results of Medical Marijuana
In the past years, licensed health officials have reported that 87 percent of medical marijuana users have had a positive reaction in regards to their affliction.
Starting with August 2016, Minnesota will be prescribing medical marijuana treatment to people diagnosed with intractable pain. Other treatments that cannabis can be prescribed are for the following conditions: AIDS/HIV, ALS, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, glaucoma, muscle spasms, seizures, terminal illnesses, and Tourette Syndrome.