Carlos is only 8 years old, but they have been eight very difficult years. His days are filled with seizures that cause him to fall to the ground and his body to shake. His mother, Rosalba Carrizalez’s, days are filled with fear the next seizure may be his last.
“Every night that I go to sleep I just pray to God that he’s going to wake up, that he’s just not going to pass or just not wake up from one of his seizures,” Carrizalez said. “It is just really hard seeing your son have seizures daily, not just one or 10, but hundreds of them a day.”
Doctors diagnosed Carlos with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome when he was 4. In the four years since, he has been prescribed a wide range of prescription drugs in an effort to control the seizures.
“We have tried all of the medicines there are right now and none of them have worked,” Carrizalez said. “They say that’s all the medicines there are right now.”
Searching for something to help her son, Carrizalez asked doctors about medical marijuana.
“I have talked with them, and they told me that it would be a really good medicine to try for him,” Carrizalez said.
Currently medical marijuana is legal in 20 states plus the District of Columbia. Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado and the state of Washington, but remains illegal under federal law. Medical marijuana is not legal in Wisconsin.
The divide in the number of states with legalized medical marijuana and those without is causing some individuals to relocate to states where the treatment is legal. In Colorado an organization called Charlotte’s Web offers treatment with marijuana oil or Cannabidiol oil, an extract from the plant for children with seizure disorders and cancer.
“I talked to my husband and I have told him that I want to move to where it is legal, but my biggest fear is leaving my daughter,” Carrizalez said.
At this point relocating with her son to allow for him to be treated with medical marijuana would mean splitting up their family. Her husband would stay behind with his job and the couple’s young daughter.
“I’m cut in between that. I just can’t leave my daughter, but I can’t just let my son die. I have to do everything in my power to save him,” Carrizalez said.
Carrizalez is expected to testify at a hearing for Assembly Bill 726 on Wednesday. The bill would allow CBD to be dispensed by doctors for the treatment of seizure disorders. It would not allow controlled substances, such as THC, to be dispensed.
The bill, which has bipartisan support, is scheduled to for a hearing at 11 a.m.