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Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Mar 04, 2015 | 831 videos
Video by John Picklap

Lucy Rhoden, a three-year-old girl from Virginia, suffers from a rare type of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disorder causes severe seizures and, eventually, developmental issues. Her family, as well as several advocates for epilepsy patients, believe that marijuana could be the last-ditch medication she needs. Filmmaker John Picklap considers the case for treatment in this short documentary. "My daughter is actually higher right now, on the drugs that I gave her legally, with her doctor's prescription, than she would be on medical cannabis," says Lucy's mother, Melissa Rhoden.

 According to the Washington Post, several states have passed legislation that allows for the use of marijuana oils to treat epilepsy—and last week, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a similar bill. In January, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that marijuana be re-classified as a Schedule II drug, which would acknowledge its medicinal value and allow the FDA to be involved in more research studies.

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Author: Chris Heller

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.