While weed is fast becoming an accepted way of life in America, mothers in other parts of the world are fighting for the right to treat their children with medical marijuana.
Some of these courageous women are risking the grim prospect of being branded as criminals as they defy authorities by purchasing medical marijuana on the black market when prescription medication fails to help their ailing offspring.
To date, the only countries that have legalized cannabis are the US and Uruguay, with Canada expected to take the leap this coming summer. Let’s take a peek at these headstrong women.
Here, an international network of South American mothers who cultivate their own cannabis has banded together. Known as MamáCultiva, this group won the fight to legalize medical marijuanaearly in 2017, but bureaucratic red-tape is holding up the process. Spearheading the group is president, Valeria Salech from Buenos Aires, who defiantly broke the laws of the land by producing cannabis oil to treat her son, Emiliano, who suffers from autism.
Another international South American mother made headlines when she became just one of three Brazilians sanctioned to grow medical marijuana at their homes. Margarete de Santos Britois from Rio de Janiero and fought a legal battle in court for the right to grow weed with which to treat her daughter, Sofia, who suffers from epilepsy.
Dubbed a “medical marijuana refugee”, eight-year-old Ava Barry from Ireland spent a good portion of two years being treated for Dravet’s Syndrome in Holland. This is a severe form of epilepsy, causing Ava to suffer up to 16 seizures over a 36-hour period. In Holland, Ava was treated with marijuana-based oils while her mother, Vera Twomey, continuously petitioned the Irish government for a medical marijuana license. The County Cork family received a wonderful Christmas present when the license to treat Ava at home was eventually granted. Not only that, but the government also decided to reimburse the family for the cost of Ava’s medical treatments.
All eyes were on a group of Peru mothers last year when police busted their makeshift marijuana grow-room in a Lima apartment building. Known as Buscando Esperanza – Seeking Hope – this collection of mothers established the organization to make cannabis oil with which to treat their sick children. Supported by the public, these defiant women achieved a huge turnaround when Peru agreed to legalize medical marijuana. But like Argentine, the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly and the new law has yet to be implemented.It is Buscando Esperanza member, AydéFarfán, who has been in the forefront of the pro-cannabis mothers’ fight. Like so many others, Aydé’s daughter suffers from severe seizures and her mother started treating her with cannabis oil after prescription drugs failed to control the ailment. Aydé is quoted as saying that medical marijuana has given her daughter quality of life. Another member, Ana Alvarez, whose son is also an epileptic, is still in danger of serving prison time for her role in the Lima apartment grow-room.
In Warwickshire, UK, mother Hannah Deaconcontinues her battle to allow her six-year-old daughter to use cannabis oil to treat her form of epilepsy. Alfie Dingley suffers up to 150 seizures a month. Earlier this year the Deacon family personally delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street, the home of the British Prime Minister, requesting the right to treat their child with cannabis.
And finally, back here in the United States, there are still counties that have not legalized marijuana, either medically or for recreational use. Kathy Hartman of Virginia is still fighting a losing battle to save her son, Kaden, who suffers from Niemann-Pick disease – a cruel disorder that attacks internal organs, including the brain.Niemann-Pick disease causes severe seizures. The child was removed from a prospective life-saving clinical trial by the Children’s Hospital of Richmond because his mother was administering CBD oil to her child.After being suspended from the clinical trial, Kathy Hartman was quoted as saying that all she wanted was what was best for her child.
History has proven that women are resolute in their campaigns for civil rights and, surely, the right to help ease the plight and pain of a child is a cause worth fighting for. Millions of people worldwide recognize the undisputed healing powers of marijuana and their collective voices could see governments doing U-turns on their anti-pot stance sooner rather than later.