Despite laws against growing cannabis, a group of about 100 parents in Chile have banded together to begin growing cannabis to help their children, many of whom suffer from severe epileptic conditions.
The group, Mama Cultiva, or “Mama Grows”, has formed to help parents learn more about how to grow cannabis, extract the beneficial cannabinoids and how to dose their children appropriately.
For some parents, it’s life-saving. Paulina Bobadilla tells the Associated Press that the constant sight of her daughter’s suffering nearly drove her to murder-suicide. She had nearly killed herself and her daughter by veering off a mountain pass in April of 2013.
“All I wanted to do was to die along with her,” Bobadilla said. “I told her: ‘This is it.’ But then she said, ‘Mommy, I love you.’ I looked at her and I knew I had to continue fighting.”
Then she discovered cannabis oils, in part due to the media exposure of it in North America where parents of sick children are legally accessing the plant in medical marijuana states. Bobadilla says the story of Charlotte Figi, namesake of the Charlotte’s Web strain, touched her in particular.
Bobadilla says that her seven-year-old daughter began to see immediate relief, dropping from seven seizures in a day to just one.
But finding the right plants – and support – can be difficult. Parents tell stories of being sold male plants from street dealers and ripped off when buying cannabis. A medical cannabis pilot program has been approved in Santiago, but it isn’t offering any immediate relief or hope to the parents – especially when government propaganda continues to say that medical marijuana research is “insufficient, while there’s vast scientific evidence that shows its harmful effects.”