Pubdate: Wed, 02 Apr 2014
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2014 Osprey Media


Every child should have what is needed for a healthy, happy life, even
if that requires changing the laws.

That's the case for Mia Wilkinson, an eight-year-old Airdrie girl who
has suffered from debilitating seizures her whole life.

Left in a wheelchair, unable to speak, drugged with a cocktail of
harmful pharmaceuticals that didn't even control her daily seizures,
Mia's mom, Sarah, and doctor were at the end of their rope.

Instead of giving up, Sarah became a relentless researcher and
advocate for her child.

As a result, she asked her daughter's neurologist to try switching to
medical marijuana to treat Mia's seizures and resulting pain.

The effect was miraculous - in just a few months, Mia began speaking
and was able to undergo surgery to fix her feet.

There is hope now that she will one day learn to walk and perhaps even
attend school.

But Health Canada has not made it easy for Mia to receive the
treatment she needs, likely due to the stigma that marijuana carries.

In fact, the government is trying to impose new rules that would
effectively put medical marijuana out of the financial reach of many

In March, an injunction was filed to try to stop the changes, which
would make it impossible for users to grow their own pot.

Earlier this week, the Federal government filed an appeal to that

Now it's a wait-and-see game for users of medical marijuana.

For Mia's family, the changes to the rules means the cost of her
cannabis oil could go from around $250 per month to around $2,000.

Although Sarah says the family will do all it can to get the
treatments Mia needs, paying that amount for medication is onerous, if
not impossible.

Key to understanding this dilemma is to realize that Mia is not the
typical pothead.

She is not drowsy and she doesn't want to snack more than

What marijuana seems to do for the girl is calm her body, creating a
more relaxed state of mind and body. It makes her more herself, able
to speak and laugh.

She isn't in pain and her seizures have stopped.

When will the government stop treating medical marijuana differently
than other drugs, that are often more harmful?

Are they scared of the social consequences from an ultra-conservative
electorate? Is pleasing the uninformed better than helping a little
girl who might die without the treatment?

The government should wake up and give Mia, and other kids like her,
what they need.  
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D