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Charlotte Figi: The 6-Year-Old Who Changed Medical Marijuana Laws in the U.S.

Charlotte suffered as many as 300 seizures per week before getting approval for cannabis oil

By True Crime WriterPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
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Charlotte Figi changed medical marijuana laws across the country. At 6 years old, she had as many as 300 grand mal seizures every week. After using cannabis oil, the number of seizures decreased to 10 or fewer per day.

Before cannabis oil, Charlotte suffered tremendously.

Charlotte's Life With Dravet Syndrome

Born with a twin sibling on October 18, 2006, Charlotte had her first seizure at three months old. Doctors diagnosed her with a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome, a form of epilepsy in which cellular mutation causes cluster seizures that can last 30 minutes or longer.

By age 5, Charlotte depended on a wheelchair. She suffered as many as 300 grand mal seizures per week, which caused her trouble walking and talking and caused cognitive delays.

The pills prescribed to treat Charlotte's seizures did little to ease her pain or stop the seizures. Her parents, Matt and Paige, were desperate to help their beautiful little girl.

Desperate to Help Her Child

Paige had heard about cannabis oil and its promise to treat epilepsy. The biggest claim promised that extracts high in CBD and low in THC could reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in children with minimal side effects.

Paige reached out to a group of brothers hoping to find relief for Charlotte.

The Stanley Brothers, Jared, Jesse, Joel, Jon, and Jordan, were well-known in Colorado for their low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil, which they had developed specifically for its potential therapeutic benefits in treating conditions like epilepsy. The cannabis oil contained low doses of THC, which eliminated the psychoactive effects marijuana is known for without diluting its medicinal benefits.

Although Colorado approved medical marijuana in 2000, patients faced hurdles in accessing specific strains like the one cultivated by the Stanley Brothers in 2006, since laws highly restricted usage before widespread marijuana legalization occurred.

The brothers heard Charlotte's story; it pulled at their heartstrings and they immediately agreed to help. The Stanley Brothers never doubted the medicinal power of cannabis or their newly cultivated oil.

Charlotte's Life Changed After The First Dose

Charlotte's physician provided authorization for her to use the cannabis oil. From that day forward, Charlotte's life changed dramatically.

Matt and Paige noticed a remarkable improvement in Charlotte's condition soon after the first dose of cannabis oil. The most profound improvement was the significant reduction in the number and severity of seizures. Paige reported a change from as many as 300 severe seizures per week to fewer than 10 relatively mild seizures per day. The duration of the seizures also decreased.

Charlotte's newfound medical improvement allowed her to participate more in daily activities, experience improved cognitive functioning, and exhibit improved mood and behavior. She no longer depended on a wheelchair. She felt less pain than she had since three months of age and slept peacefully through the night.

The progress Charlotte had made overjoyed the Stanley brothers In honor of her remarkable story, they named their cannabis oil '"Charlotte's Web" after beautiful little Charlotte Figi.

A Change in Medical Marijuana Laws Across the Country

Charlotte's story caused massive media attention, shifting public perspectives about cannabis. People from across the country moved to Colorado to get cannabis treatment for their sick children.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta once opposed medical marijuana, although after witnessing Charlotte's remarkable progress, became a stout advocate.

There was also a notable increase in efforts to legalize medical marijuana around the U.S. Many states enacted legislation to allow medical marijuana use for qualifying patients. By the end of 2012, Colorado had even approved marijuana for recreational use. 

Many states soon followed. Today, 38 states, four U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia allow the use of medicinal cannabis, 24 states, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have approved the use of recreational marijuana. Even countries outside the U.S. have implemented medical marijuana programs, including Australia, Germany, and Uruguay.

The next seven years of Charlotte's life were better than ever. Paige and Matt felt extreme gratefulness for the Stanley Brothers and the cannabis oil they graciously provided their daughter.

Charlotte's Fight is Over

In April 2020, the entire Figi family fell ill. Doctors assumed the family had contracted the COVID-19 virus and recommended self-treatment at home unless their symptoms worsened.

Charlotte's condition worsened. Paige and Matt took her to the hospital. She tested negative for COVID-19 and was sent home on April 5, 2020.

On April 7, 2020, Charlotte suffered a seizure resulting in respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Charlotte returned to the PICU where doctors treated her as a likely case of COVID-19, despite another negative test.

Later that day, Charlotte's fight in this world ended. She died peacefully in her parent's arms at the age of 13 in the PICU at Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs. 

WHY Do YOU Oppose Medical Marijuana Legalization?

After hearing Charlotte's story, and countless others like it, I wonder if the 33-some-odd million people in the U.S. who do not support medical marijuana legalization have had their heads stuck in a toilet somewhere over the past decade or so. Have they not heard stories like Charlotte's?

A November 2023 Pew Research study indicated that one in 10 Americans do not support medical marijuana legalization. That number seems small but equals more than 33 million people.

Millions of people favor drug addictions, opioid crises, and individuals suffering through debilitating medical conditions over medical marijuana legalization. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why.

Rest easy, sweet girl. Charlotte Figi forever 13!

Realm Caring Foundation

Paige founded the Realm Caring Foundation to further medical marijuana research and help other children like Charlotte. 

Support the organization and learn more about why you should support medical marijuana here:

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About the Creator

True Crime Writer

The best of the worst true crime, history, strange and Unusual stories. Graphic material. Intended for a mature audience ONLY.

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