Epileptic girl wins fight for medical marijuana in Mexico

By Oscar Pascual |

Mexico’s first authorized medical marijuana patient is an eight-year-old girl.

Graciela Elizalde, who suffers from a devastating form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, made history as a federal judge ruled in her favor to be allowed to use and import CBD-rich cannabis oil for medical pruposes, reports the AFP.

Despite surgery and countless alternative treatments, Grace’s epileptic seizures have “have greatly grown in intensity, force and frequency, with 400 episodes (per day), without counting those she endures while sleeping,” said her mother, Mayela Benavides, in an interview with the AFP.

Grace moves around in a wheelchair and depends on her parents for all her needs.

“When she was a year and half, Grace would say ‘mommy’ and she drank through a straw. Now she doesn’t say a word, she takes a baby bottle and she crawls,” Benavides told AFP. “She’s like a baby, but one who weighs 18 kilos (40 pounds) and is 1.15 meters (3.8 feet) tall.”

The family’s desperation finally saw hope when they learned that epileptic children in Colorado were being successfully treated with cannabidiol, a therapeutic compound commonly found in marijuana.

Her father, Raul Elizalde, even drove over 1,200 miles to Colorado to pick up some medication, but was denied since he isn’t a Colorado resident.

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, whose administration is firmly locked in a bloody conflict with drug cartels, opposes any sort of legalization in the country. However, the historic ruling passed down last month allows Grace’s family to be the first and only family in Mexico with permission to import cannabis products with large contents of CBD.

“A girl has removed the first brick from the wall of the absurd prohibition in Mexico,” said Fernando Belaunzaran, a former leftist lawmaker who championed a failed bid to legalize medicinal marijuana, to AFP.

Photo credit: Por GRACE on Facebook