Sick children who need medical marijuana to survive are going without because of a series of police raids up and down the Pacific Coast in California.
In mid October a local task force of drug warriors raided a dispensary in the San Diego area and destroyed farms in Modesto and Mendocino County in Northern California. The operations were all providing a form of cannabis that contains a chemical used to treat epileptic kids.
“It’s devastation,” said one Modesto-area father whose son suffers from a chronic seizure disorder that is potentially fatal. “This has saved my son’s life. Now what are we supposed to do?”
The weed is similar to a Colorado strain known as Charlotte’s Web, named after a young girl whose constant seizures were eliminated with medical pot. It contains large amounts of CBD, a chemical thought to control convulsions, and only small amounts of THC, the chemical that gets stoners high.
The strain has helped countless young children whose only other options are deadly narcotics and sedatives – and they don’t do much good to begin with. Medical cannabis has proved to be a modern miracle for many families.
Little empirical evidence exists to support the theory that CBD calms seizures. But scientists are currently studying the possibility, and anecdotal evidence of CBD’s positive effects is strong.
“It’s amazing; it’s completely remarkable,” Dr. Margaret Gedde, a Colorado doctor who has successfully treated children with CBD weed. “It does stop seizures. It doesn’t hurt them.”
One of the raids targeted property owned by Susan Schindler in Mendocino. Schindler was growing within the limits of the state’s MMJ law; she had 25 plots, each carefully marked. But cops raided her farm and destroyed it in August.
Schindler grew weed for medical patients, and she harvested rare CBD strains, products that are hard to find in pot shops catering to the recreational crowd. Now all that is gone.
The raid was one of several conducted in the summer. Men in camouflage descended from helicopters and chopped down plants without warrants. Police initially denied the raids, then acknowledged them when the evidence became overwhelming.
Local police in some parts of California have apparently gone rogue in an effort to help the feds eradicate all medical cannabis from California – a possibility recently threatened by Attorney General Eric Holder.
“She had entire plots dedicated to children,” said Tisha Siler, operator of the Cannacea dispensary, which got much of its weed from Schindler. “You could smoke the whole plant and never feel it.”