The plight of a six-year-old child in Ohio highlights what real families go through and why many feel medical marijuana is a necessary treatment for children.
Last week, as MG-Daily reported, Governor John Kasich of Ohio signed a medical marijuana bill into law. The new law is expected to benefit many individuals seeking relief. Often lost in the fray of the marijuana legalization debates are the real people these laws impact.
One family in particular is eagerly awaiting the new medical marijuana program. JoJo, a six-year-old child from Delhi Township, suffers from Dravet Syndrome. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Dravet Syndrome “is a rare genetic epileptic encephalopathy (dysfunction of the brain). It begins in the first year of life in an otherwise healthy infant.” This puts JoJo at a constant risk of seizures.
JoJo’s mother, Chastity Tenbrik, feels that her daughter’s health could improve significantly now that Ohio has medical marijuana on the horizon.
“We take it day-by-day with her. (There are) good days, bad days, we just try to make sure that we give her the best days and life possible that we can give her.” Chasity said.
JoJo is currently taking potent medication, especially for a child. “We’ve had issues with liver failure because of medication, she’s lost her hair, just a little bit of everything and this could give us relief for her getting off some of this medication that’s causing some of these horrible side effects,” Tenbrink said.
Unlike some early medical marijuana laws, Ohio has designed their law specifically with children in mind. Flower will not be available through the medical marijuana program. However, qualifying children and adults will have access to edibles, oils, tinctures, and topicals. Recreational use will still remain illegal. The program will become legal in approximately 90 days but will take longer to fully implement.