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Keith King suffers from a condition called medically intractable epilepsy

Through my research, both for personal and for this blog I have talked to many people about medical marijuana. It is easy to forget how many people still don’t have legal access in other states. It’s really unfortunate, especially when there are disabled people who could really benefit from the use of medical cannabis and are being prevented from using it legally. Especially with CBD-therapy that has been found to be both helpful and safe for many medical conditions and is now being studied by mainstream pharmaceuticals and medical professionals.

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A photo of King in military uniform. Photo courtesy of King.

On the Faces of Cannabis website I came across Francis Keith King, disabled US Marine veteran, father of 4 boys, and husband to Callie, his best friend and caregiver.  King suffers from a condition called medically intractable epilepsy, which manifests as “persistent seizure activity, which, despite maximal medical treatment, remains sufficiently debilitating…”, according to The University of Pittsburgh. While most sufferers are born with this disability, this can also be onset in adults, often by trauma to the brain, a stroke, or tumors. In Francis’ case, he asserts that it was the anthrax vaccine, something other vets have reported.

Here is his story, in his own words…

While in Japan,  during 9/11 we were vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine. There is belief that that is what caused the lesion in my brain. I was a proud Marine after my 4 years, I reenlisted for another 4 years, that next 4 years would fall short as I would start having neurological issues. At first glance, they diagnosed me with PTSD, and assumed that what was occurring were panic attacks.  My girlfriend (now wife) was the first to think they might be seizures.”

“Years of medication trial, after trial, hospital stays, and studies. With as many as 120 seizures a month of varying kinds and even surgery to implant the vagus nerve stimulator. Nothing has been able to help me find full relief, as of now we just tried one of the last pharmaceutical combinations, to no avail. Relief comes in the form of CBD, It’s not legal where we live to posses CBD or medical cannabis of any kind, so I cannot use it. However, when in Oregon I tried it and found relief.”

The discovery of CBD-disrupting seizures is nothing new.  This was first discovered in the 80’s in Israel by Raphael Mechoulam. There is documentary worth watching about his studies called “The scientist.

More from King: “As a veteran, as a father, a U.S. citizen who just wants to participate in this life, without falling down every day… I ask you to seek to understand our faces and our needs. Present day, less pain, less seizures not all the way better yet. I have found that some THC can help me and when in Oregon I was able to try the strain Harlequin, which is high in CBD. The Harlequin flower, plus the oil would be the ultimate relief for me. It’s a struggle knowing a state away I may find that relief, but my family has settled here in Idaho. We love Idaho, we just wish they would find compassion for the hurting that could benefit from medical marijuana.”

With more and more states approving medical marijuana usage, or going fully legal for all uses, it might not be long before sufferers like King can have access without having to uproot their whole lives and lose the imperative family support in their hometowns.

What would you do?  It’s quite a predicament.  Would you stay? Would you move? Would you break the law?  Let us know in the comments.