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Florida Mother Leads The Push For Medical Marijuana

Mother Hopes Cannabis Will Help Her Daughter’s Epilepsy

Delani Bliss Martin turned 3 years old last month. At the age of 14 months, she suffered her first seizure as a result of complex partial epilepsy. According to her mother Ashlyn, Delani has been treated with various pharmaceuticals since that time and now experiences 2-3 seizures per week.

Understandably, Ashlyn often worries about the side effects associated with the medications Delani has been exposed to at such an early age. While epilepsy has not been shown to harm to one’s intelligence, there is a growing concern that frequent seizures and the side effects of certain medications might.

“A three year old should not have to be on antidepressants, that just doesn’t make any sense.”– Ashlyn Martin

“When you look up the side effects for these antidepressant drugs it’s just terrible,” she told a local news station – WEAR. “It’s like suicidal thoughts, stomach ache, internal bleeding and she can’t tell me. A three year old should not have to be on antidepressants, that just doesn’t make any sense.”

It was precisely that thought process that drove Ashlyn to reach out to us at Medical Jane in search of additional options. Upon learning about the recently-approved clinical trials for Epidiolexa cannabis-based epilepsy drug – as you would expect any parent in her position to do, Ashlyn wanted to know how to get Delani on the list for clinical testing on the new drug.

Contact information in hand, Ashlyn began making phone calls and Delani was soon placed on the waiting list for the second round of trials, likely to begin early next year. The progress didn’t stop there, however.

“Until you do your research I don’t think you should just put your nose up at it.”– Ashlyn Martin

Already with a firm belief in the efficacy of medical marijuana as a safe treatment for epilepsy, Ashlyn came across a Florida petition to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November 2014 ballot. Without hesitation, she printed and filed the petition.

Ashlyn found it odd that she had not already heard about the petition, so she made a call to WEAR and was granted an opportunity to tell Delani’s story on the news the very next day, while at the same time raising awareness for the petition.

During the news coverage, Ashlyn addressed Attorney General Pam Bondi, who recently filed a challenge to the proposed medical marijuana initiative, and others who oppose the measure. “Until you do your research I don’t think you should just put your nose up at it. It’s something that would greatly help my daughter,” she explained.

Florida residents may sign the People United for Medical Marijuana petition here.

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