CBD-Only Isn’t Enough: A Mom’s Letter to Lawmakers

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I hope you are doing well today. My name is Brittany Hardy. I am the mother of Jaqie Angel Warrior, a two year old little girl who suffers from a deadly form of epilepsy and uses cannabis oil to control her seizures. I am writing you this letter today in hopes you will listen to our story, look at our scientific proof, find compassion the your heart to stand up for what is right and have an active role in putting an end to this suffering. Not only our suffering but the suffering of tens of thousands of Oklahomans right here before our very eyes.

Jaqie Angel’s battle with deadly seizures didn’t begin until January of 2013 when she was just five months old. Could you imagine having the most perfectly healthy baby in the entire world then one day a piece of your heart dies when you find out your healthy baby has a deadly form of epilepsy and seizures could steal her life at any second? You are now in a constant fight for your child’s life, and you try every medication available in this state all without success. Most of them with dangerous side effects and none of which ever worked. This has been my life. My reality. Aside from every medication, we gave our daughter daily painful injections with huge needles of steroids made from dead pig carcasses called A.C.T.H. We even tried the ketogenic diet which almost killed her because she couldn’t handle the damage it was doing to her body.

She has had twenty five hospital stays from January 2013 to April 2014. She has spent numerous nights lying in those hospital beds at St. Francis Children’s Hospital fighting for her life. Her dad and I have cried millions of tears and prayed countless prayers to find a way to ease our child’s seizures and suffering. There is NO CURE for her epilepsy. But, there is a safe and effective treatment for it, and it’s cannabis oil. She has not been back in the hospital for uncontrollable seizures one time since starting cannabis oil, not once.

In April of 2014, Jaqie’s Tulsa Neurologist, Amy Z. Stauffer, who works for Warren Clinic Pediatric Neurology, recommended we take our child to Colorado and do a trial of cannabis oil so we did. After less than three weeks on cannabis I brought her back here to Tulsa to have an EEG done, and it showed dramatic improvements. Her brain waves had been very slowed at a 2Hz-2.5Hz for over a year. A normal child her age should be at a 6Hz. Jaqie’s brain waves were at a dominant 5Hz. I could not believe it. In less than two weeks on the cannabis oil I noticed a dramatic seizure reduction as well. She went from having 150+ seizures daily down to twenty or less. I knew we were on to something because nothing had ever helped her. I had never seen a seizure reduction from any of the other fifteen AEDs so this was HUGE. Currently she has anywhere from four to twelve each day. That’s fewer seizures each week than she used to have each day.

Cannabis oil has improved my daughter’s seizures, her vision (she was diagnosed legally blind in Nov.2013 because of the seizures), her alertness, her ability to learn and actually be a toddler and not an empty shell. It has given my daughter her life back. I could go on and on about the many things it has improved in her life, but her medical records will speak for themselves. The Governor also has a copy of these records and the recommendation from Jaqie’s Tulsa neurologist to continue using cannabis oil. Jaqie has been weaned off all other AEDs except one which is Klonopin, a narcotic her body has been physically addicted to since she was six months old. The withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of heroin so it’s a much slower process weaning that, although we are looking forward to the day she has her last dose of that and cannabis is the only medicine she takes.

I have three other children who I miss very much. They are in Tulsa with their Dad while Jaqie and I stay here in Colorado until Oklahoma allows us to come back home. My three daughters are very young, ages 7, 6 and 4. They really need their Mommy. We miss being together as a family, and this is taking a toll on their behavior and their school work as well as their emotional state. Families should not have to be torn apart in order to keep a loved one alive. Families belong together. And our family doesn’t have the funds to continue living in two different states. How ironic that we own a home here in Oklahoma, but I’m constantly in fear that Jaqie and I will end up having to stay in a shelter in order to stay in Colorado to keep her on cannabis. This is scary.

Much more importantly, four children have passed away in Oklahoma this year alone due to seizures. Shouldn’t one life be too many? There are children here still suffering every day because their parents can’t afford to pick up and move to Colorado, and they could die at any moment. And seizures aren’t the only thing that cannabis can treat. It can treat MS, PTSD, Cancer, Autism, Diabetes and many, many more ailments that are leaving our people to suffer and die. Someone has passed away right now in Oklahoma as you read this letter that could have been saved by cannabis.

What words can I say to help you understand the urgency of this matter? How can I convince you to take action now and help our daughter and the thousands of people depending on this? Please, I am pleading with you to do something about it, please. I am only one person but I am speaking up on everyone’s behalf with the support of my daughter’s Tulsa neurologist Amy Stauffer. She has over 20 years of experience, and she is a Dr. who knows what she’s doing. Please don’t deny this proof that cannabis works. SAY NO TO CBD ONLY, because without THC the CBD is useless. I know this first hand and will be personally testifying at the State Capitol hearing coming up in October regarding this matter.

If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss please feel free to call or email me with them. I would love to hear back from you as soon as you get the chance just so I can have a better understanding of what your stance is on medical cannabis. I need to know if you are willing to support medical cannabis and the people whose lives depend on it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to hear me out and look over the scientific proof and medical records I have provided. I truly appreciate it and hope you have a wonderful day.

Best Regards,

Brittany M. Hardy

Also on behalf of:

Beth Maxey
Heather R. Spicer
Kimberly Davis
Johnny Jheengoor