Medical refugees leave Texas for marijuana treatments

Hannah Loew, a child who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, is among dozens who have moved to Colorado to receive higher concentrated doses of marijuana

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —

She’s a 5-year-old girl living in a rented house in an eastern subdivision of Colorado Springs in the shadow of Pikes Peak. And she’s in Colorado because her parents fear that if they were living instead back home in Crosby, Texas, the kindergartner might be considered a felon.

Hannah Loew, a child who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, is among dozens who have moved to Colorado to receive higher concentrated doses of marijuana, or cannabis oil, than their home states will allow.

Hannah has suffered multiple seizures daily all her life, and pharmaceutical remedies have never proven completely effective. So, a year and a half ago, Amber and Paul Loew and their three children loaded everything they own into a moving van and moved to Colorado Springs.

“We left everything,” said Amber Loew, so they could legally obtain cannabis oil they hoped would give Hannah a better quality of life.

They moved in March 2014. Hannah received her first dose of cannabis oil in April.

“I would say she’s had about an 85 percent reduction in her seizures since we moved here,” Amber Loew said. “She has been doing phenomenal, especially the last year.”

Just this past June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law legalizing limited use of marijuana for severe forms of epilepsy. However, the Texas law legalizes cannabis oils high in CBD, cannabidiol the non-euphoric compound in marijuana, and low in THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive agent in pot. The law allows a CBD to THC ratio only up to 20 to 1.

Amber Loew says only an additional dose of THC has proven effective to control or limit Hannah’s seizures. Their preferred dose of 14 to 1 CBD to THC violates Texas law. But cannabis oils, with varying percentages of CBD and THC are legal to purchase and use in Colorado Springs and multiple other cities and counties throughout Colorado.

“I know of at least 15 other families here, all from Texas, that they’re here for the same reason we are,” she said. “This little bottle of THC is all that keeps us from Texas.”

Hannah now attends a full-day kindergarten at a public school in Colorado Springs as a special education student with the help of a Medicaid-paid nurse who is always at her side.

Read more here: http://www.khou.com/story/news/health/2015/11/12/medical-refugees-leave-texas-for-marijuana-treatments/75634138/