Republicans love marijuana. Pushed by a cadre of Christian brothers from Colorado and promoted by CNN’s doctor-on-television Sanjay Gupta, a strain of marijuana acceptable for suburban squares and the churchgoing set is winning friends on the right. Marijuana low in THC but high in CBD cannabidiol, one of the many compounds in cannabis has real palliative value for people who medicine has failed. Specifically, it appears to treat kids with (previously) untreatable epilepsy. And best of all: It’s impossible to get high off of.
That’s ideal for conservative lawmakers. After several years of watching constituents flee their districts for the West and access to cannabis cures, they’ve taken action. Eleven states have now passed laws to legalize this stoner-unfriendly weed, while keeping THC-laden marijuana outlawed. A bill to do the same on the federal level was introduced in Congress in late July. The name of the Colorado brothers’ strain of cannabis Charlotte’s Web, a proprietary trademark named for the first child to successfully treat her epilepsy with the product is in the proposed law’s title.
This same marijuana would not have saved Mykayla Comstock’s life, her family says.
After six weeks of exhaustion, stomach pain, and labored breathing, the Oregon 7-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. Doctors said chemotherapy would work well immediately. Instead, she got worse. With permission from the state and from her oncologist, Mykayla’s father Brandon Krenzler starting giving his daughter cannabis oil.
This marijuana was the same kind that would make you popular at a party: It had plenty of THC. It made Mykayla “visibly stoned” while Krenzler worked out the right dose. It also saved her life, he says: Within a month, the lymphoblasts the malignant cells disappeared.
More than two years later, the cancer is still gone, and an arduous medical treatment that included regular spinal taps is almost over. Throughout it all, Mykayla received regular doses of cannabis containing THC, tonic that left her “laughing, smiling, and playing” while beating back cancer, her dad says.
“We don’t believe Charlotte’s Web would have had the same reaction,” Krenzler tells SF Weekly, citing the studies that showed cancer cells were shrunk or killed when exposed to THC.