"Marijuana Mom" fights for daughter's health
MONROE, NC (WJZY) - Marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, but that is not stopping one woman from getting it to her sick daughter.
Kendra Martin's daughter, Ali, has an extremely rare disease that causes constant myoclonic seizures.
Martin said marijuana has helped her daughter get off two-thirds of her prescription medications, and does a much better job at treating her condition.
"She has Unverricht-Lungbord Disease III," Martin explained. "She is the only case of its kind in the United States. Ali constantly seizes, she has a constant seizure rhythm."
Martin provides her daughter marijuana in many different forms.
North Carolina lawmakers have an opportunity to make what Martin is doing legal.
House Bill 983 is sponsored by Dem. Kelly Alexander. It would legalize medicinal marijuana for terminally and chronically ill patients.
The bill currently sits in the health committee. FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to all four chairmen of that committee. Rep. Gary Pendleton responded and said he is opposed to the bill, fearing it will lead to full-on legalization.
"I don't want to become another Colorado," Pendleton said.
Pendleton said if the North Carolina Medical Society came with a recommendation to approve the bill - he would consider it.
FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to the Medical Society and they said it "supports the development of well-controlled research of the use of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients with medical conditions for which current evidence suggest possible efficacy."
Whether it would eventually support a bill legalizing cannabis, remains to be seen.
There is currently one doctor serving in the N.C. House of Representatives - Gregory Murphy. Murphy is one of 12 sponsors on the bill.
North Carolina recently legalized the use of cannabinoid (CDB) oils - one of the many active ingredients in marijuana. Martin said her daughter has tried CBD oils but said they were not working as well as cannabis.
"[CDB oils] have some downsides," Red. Alexander said. "The type of oil that we legalized has a very low THC content. For the type of seizures we're trying to help, there's some evidence that level of THC is not high enough to be effective."
Meanwhile, Martin said she's fully aware of what can come from her illegally getting marijuana to her daughter - but said there's no other option.
"Without cannabis, Ali would be completely on life support," Martin said. "...with every breath I feel like I'm fighting for life."
The Martin Family is the type of family who Rep. Alexander said he is fighting for.
"You see people like (The Martin's) who are not in a position to move and want to stay in North Carolina," Alexander said. "Now in order to treat the lady they have to...technically break the law for this young lady to have any quality of life. That's just wrong."