LDS Family Hopes for Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana plant
Image via CBS.

One LDS family in Utah County is pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana to help save their daughter’s life.

Maddie Campbell suffers with a disease called Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD), a semi-treatable form of leukodystrophy, and medical marijuana has the potential to prolong Maddie’s life. Maddie is the second of the Campbell children to contract the disease. Her older sister, Tori, passed away from the disease last year, and the family is determined to do whatever it takes to not lose another child to this devastating illness.

Maddie and Tori Campbell, minutes before Tori passed away due to MLD in 2014.
Maddie and Tori Campbell, minutes before Tori passed away due to MLD in 2014.

When Maddie’s motor functions began to decline significantly, the family needed clearance to treat her using CBD, an oil made from hemp extracts.

“Sensing our desperation, a few friends from California offered to bring us some cannabis extract to help with Maddie’s condition,” Maddie’s mother, Emily Campbell, wrote in their family blog called ‘The Choice Life.’ “With their help Maddie received a course of hemp oil every night for a few weeks.  After a few days, her seizures diminished and after a week they stopped. We decided to enroll her in school as her walking and cognitive functions improved. We only had enough oil to treat her for several weeks, but the results were outstanding, which was validated by her teachers at school.”

The Campbells may finally receive relief if medical marijuana is legalized in Utah.

Emily Campbell said:

There is hope that Maddie can live longer and we can help offset the effects of this disease with CBD oil. We don’t have to call hospice care, stockpile morphine and wait for her to slowly fade away.

While some may be leery about the legalization of the drug, others think it has the potential to better many lives and cure illnesses that may not be curable otherwise.

“If the state can push past years of propaganda and misunderstanding surrounding the drug, it would bring compassion and freedom to those who are suffering,” Saratoga Springs Republican Sen. Mark Madsen, told CBS news.

Maddie Campbell, 2015.

The legalization would allow businesses to grow marijuana and sell marijuana-induced products, but would not allow it to be smoked.

Senator Madsen began researching medical marijuana when he was having back pain years ago, and his doctor recommended the use of medical marijuana to help his symptoms. Madsen went to Colorado and began taking pot-infused gummy bears at the discretion of his physician. He found the treatment to be effective and says he would consider using it permanently if it meant he could reduce his prescription drugs significantly or get rid of them completely.

With pending legalization as of Thursday, Utahns supporting the bill will have to play the waiting game until a decision is made. The Campbell family, Senator Madsen, and others whose lives would be improved with the legalization of the drug, hope the ruling is in their favor.

Emily Campbell said:

Trying to change Utah’s medical cannabis laws and public perception about medical marijuana in Utah is a daunting challenge, but life throws us curve balls and we can take them lying down or standing up.