Madison Mother Calls for Legalization of Cannabis Oil to Help Daughter’s Seizures

Posted on: 3:05 pm, December 4, 2013, by , updated on: 09:21am, December 5, 2013

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — A Madison family is pleading for help for their 16-month-old baby girl. Charlotte Dalton has seizures almost daily, some lasting almost an hour. Now, her parents are trying to find a remedy that will help keep her calm, without the side effects of strong medication.

Baby Charlotte has been given Valium and Ativan, medications that have lasting and dangerous side effects. Her mother, Gena Dalton, is asking lawmakers to help them by passing a bill legalizing an oil from the cannabis plant. She believes it could be the answer to their prayers.

“My mouth just fell open when I’m hearing the amounts of Valium they pumped in her, when that wasn’t working and she’s still seizing 30 minutes later they start giving her Ativan, and for days she was just kind out of it, listless.  It was heartbreaking,” said Dalton.

Dalton said Charlotte began having seizures when she was just a few months old. She was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a genetic disorder.

Right now, Charlotte’s “rescue drugs” may be doing more harm than help.

“The side effects are horrendous,” said Dalton. “Some of the side effects — you have to monitor liver function or kidney function because the risk of organ failure is extremely high.”

Dalton is asking legislators to legalize oil from the cannabis plant so Charlotte can have a shot at a safer treatment for her seizures. The oil has extremely low levels of THC and no psychoactive effects.  It’s just derived from the marijuana plant.

“There are families in Colorado who have children with similar epileptic seizures that are having great success with this medication and these are families that literally had no other hope,” said Dalton.

Dalton thinks the oil could be Charlotte’s saving grace.

“People in the general population might go, ‘you would really consider giving that to your child?’” she said. “But considering what we’re giving her now, the side effects are way less, there’s no addictive properties to it unlike Valium and Ativan, which are highly addictive.”

She said she’ll do whatever it takes.

“We don’t want to leave, but if it comes down to getting what we need for our daughter, we’ll move to Colorado, but we don’t want that,” she said.

She’s putting her faith in the hands of Alabama lawmakers like Rep. Mike Ball. Ball is working on a rough draft of a bill that will allow the cannabis oil, without legalizing medical marijuana.

“We hope this legislation gets passed, so we can be free from prosecution, we can try this out for our child, and hopefully it’ll work,” said Dalton.

For more information on “Carly’s Law,” click on this link to the Facebook page.

40 comments

  • Sue says:

    *ATIVAN… Maybe the person that wrote this story should ease off the cannabis…

    • cori says:

      Yes Sue, let’s make jokes. You’re much better off than any “stoner” writing articles and misspelling a horrible chemical cocktail, or pill as you call them, have another!

    • Waymon says:

      Sue, can you clarify your comment?

    • Ben Vickers says:

      Spelled it the way it sounds. Maybe the pharmaceutical company name checker should lay off whatever it is that has caused them to no the exact spelling of another useless drug.

    • Janet Harbin says:

      I know the child and mom and grand parents of the madison al. Child
      The oil has been proved safer than all the drugs that she is taking daily.
      People would kill for this childs drugs. If they were drugs.
      Best to shut your mouth if you do not know what your talking about!!!!

      • Tiffany says:

        I totally agree, No one will truly understand the depth this medication can do, I have a sister who is sever epileptic, cant talk, communicate what so ever, we seen the documentary of charlotte’s web in Colorado, and to see the astonishing improvements she made gives me hope that maybe my sister can finally be a normal 16 year old who doesn’t need assistance with feeding, toileting bathing etc.. and Yes people who understands the amazing miracle drug they would kill for it.

    • WHNT News 19 says:

      Sue, we’ve corrected the spelling. Thank you for pointing this out to us.

  • you can buy hemp oil at most natural supermarkets, even at earth fare. is this something different than cannibus oil?

    • … You want oil that is high in cannabidiol aka CBD, but because of the THC and what type of cannabis it is extracted from you have to live in a legal cannabis state and even then you are violating federal law which means you need to be prepared to deal with the consequences that come with marijuana extracts. The only to get federally legal cannabis oil that is rich with CBD is from HempMedsPX. Their CBD oil is grown by European generational farmers under the guidance of Chris Boucher. Futhermore by using industrial hemp instead of marijuana and extracting the oil from the seed and stalk of hemp according to the 1994 Hemp Act renders the product to be in full compliance of the federal regulations! …

      • Mindy says:

        I have a family member with cancer and this oil has been a life saver for him. There is a problem finding it though. You would think that being such an important part of helping a sick person, you should be able to get it from your local pharmacy. Wish we could change this

    • Chris Butts says:

      You can buy “hemp SEED oil” at health food stores, this is a totally different animal.

    • Charles Waller says:

      Cannabis hemp seed oil contains no cannabinoids, but does contain the ideal ratio of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for human nutrition. Cannabis extract oil contains a wide range of plant compounds, including cannabinoids which are found exclusively in cannabis. Cannabinoids are produced by in the plant, cannabigerol is the basic cannabinoid which is found throughout the plant structure and is the foundation of the other cannabinoids. CBDa is also found throughout the plant – except in the seeds – but the majority of complex cannabinoids such as THCa are found primarily in the trichome glands on the surface of the leaves and flowers. All are in raw, acid molecule form in the plant. Heating the acid molecule drives off a carbon molecule (decarboxylation) and makes THC psychoactive in large doses, which is necssary in treatment of many conditions involving pain, muscle spasms and persistent memory conditions (PTSD, etc.)

      Cannabis seed oil is nutritionally beneficial, cannabis extract oil is therapeutically beneficial for a wide range of chronic and life threatening medical conditions. Synthetic pharmaceutical compounds are typically toxic with serious adverse side effects and the risks of addiction and/or fatal overdose. Humans have used cannabis safely for 10,000 years, pharmaceutical drugs have killed an unknown number in the last century. Which would you use to try to save your child from a life of pain, suffering, cognitive impairment and premature death?

  • JANET says:

    Yes , Hemp Oil is different than Cannabis Oil and you can check out the Science of Cannabis by simply googling it. This is no joke or laughing matter when dealing with health matters…my heart goes out to anyone suffering especially innocent children. Cannabis Oil Cures Cancer and is a miracle plant. Anyone who is truly interested in learning about the Cannabis plant should use the resources available online or at your public library. Science does not lie. God bless the sick and suffering…I pray that Cannabis will be made legal and available to all who choose to use it. It’s NOT about getting high it’s about being healthy:):)

  • sherry gibbs says:

    Hi…I am Charlotte’s grandmother. The only way we can get the CBD oil is from the Stanley brothers in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can check them out at @realmofcaring on facebook. We already know one family that has moved there for their daughter, Allie. They are from Haleyville. It is a special grown marijuana called Charlotte’s Web named after Charlotte Figi who was sent home to die but was given this oil and is now riding bikes, horses, dancing and being a normal 5 year old. If you would like more info I would suggest you look at the links on Carly’s Law on facebook. This Alabama billed is named after Carly Chandler from Birmingham who is in far worse shape at present than our own granddaughter.

    • Red says:

      Speaking of Colorado, I read recently that drivers are being charged with DUI when they are given tests to detect the presence of drugs, and that test results in a reading over the 5 ng/ml threshold established strictly to detect current or past usage. So even in Colorado, they have so many laws yet to be enacted to protect their citizens, that the situation there is very uncertain. The 5 ng/ml threshold was not established based on the criteria of “impairment”, so drivers there are vulnerable.

      Of course, the oil that we are talking about in this article that the lady wants for her child has little to NO THC in it, so there is no “high” and there would be no risk of failing a test for any person who was being medicated by this particular strain of plant extract.

      • Charles Waller says:

        THC in low levels is a critical component in the efficacious treatment of these pediatric seizure disorders, absence of THC makes it much less effective. Epidiolex has been expedited for phase 3 FDA clinical trial, but I believe it will be found ineffective in seizure control due to 0% THC content. Read about Jayden David in CA and that fact becomes apparent. The anticonvulsant properties of extract oil were first reported to “western medicine” over 170 years ago by Dr. W.B. O’Shaughnessy and cannabis extract oil was used widely and effectively to treat many chronic conditions until development of the modern hypodermic and transition to water soluble synthetic chemical compounds made it “obsolete”. The real reasons for cannabis prohibition beginning 100 years ago in CA were to eliminate cannabis hemp as competition to the emerging petro-chemical and wood pulp industries, as well as many others – including cotton and corn, all of which have centralized profits and caused enormous suffering and deprivation for millions around the world.

  • Janet Harbin says:

    People wake up!! GOD put the plants and roots herbs what not here on earth
    To heal his people!!! The drugs these kids take are man made
    STOP AND LOOK WHAT MAN HAS MADE A WORLD DESTOYING ITSELF DAILY..
    HELP THESE CHILDREN AND PEOPLE THAT NEED THIS!!

  • justdointhebestican says:

    I have a 3 yr old boy…if he was having seizures such as charlottes or jaydens there would be absolutely nothing not even the federal government who I respect , to keep me from cbd…no psychoactive, I fully understand what there is to know at this point, and the fact that these seizures are doing damage…and could possibly cause death…we love our kids, and the fact is we just don’t have time to let all the big pharma, politicians, and studies to be done….sometimes we just have to make the best choice we can…and every1s choice isn’t the same, but its that decision that makes tough challenges in life….but the fact is that its my child and my decision and its NOT way out there!!!

  • Jennifer Williams says:

    Behind you Gena!!! Every step of the way!

  • Michelle says:

    This was so sad and such a moving story. That poor daughter and the entire family. It’s ridiculous that we still have such strict laws about marijuana. Isn’t it time we finally move past that?

  • Daniel Osborn says:

    This is terrible, Marijuana is a healing Herb known to help with so many ailments from Cancer to Anxiety. This little girl is suffering from horrific seizures and is being feed highly addictive DRUGS. There is no excuse for why Marijuana and Hemp isn’t legalized for anyone with a medical reason to use and also for recreational use for people over 21(Just. Like Drinking. Is) It’s time to put the backwards thinking propaganda. days. behind us and realize this is a MEDICINE NOT A DRUGS

  • Stacey Holland says:

    Paying for you to be able to help your baby girl to have a life and not have to do it by moving from where your family and friends are……people need to wake up and stop looking at the word cannabis like it’s getting high…..what they think pills do, besides shut down the liver and kidneys, amongst other side effects….it’s greed on these pharmacies that’s the big deal….sad, sad, sad…..I’m sorry for everyone that’s suffering when they wouldn’t have to be…..good luck…..

  • Cindy says:

    I support you Gena! Keep your head up and let me know if I can do anything to help, Is there anyone we can write or email?

  • Heather says:

    This is copied directly from the Carly’s Law FB Page:

    Here is a list of email addresses of Health Committee members in the Alabama House of Representatives. If you support Carly’s Law, please contact them and let them know. If they have questions about the bill refer them to Rep. Todd or Rep. Ball. No email was listed for some of them, so call them. Let them know suffering Alabamaians need their help.

    We are the people, We will be heard!

    Chairman – Jim McClendon- jimmcc@windstream.net
    Vice Chair – Mike Millican – mike.millican@alhouse.gov
    Ranking Minority Leader – John Knight – (334)229-4286
    Elaine Beech – elainebeech83@gmail.com
    Donnie Chesteen – dchesteen@panhandle.rr.com
    Berry Forte – berry.forte@alhouse.gov
    Laura Hall – (256)859-2234
    Ed Henry – (256)260-2146
    Ron Johnson – (256)249-9489
    Joe Hubbard – joe@hubbardcoleman.com
    Paul Lee – pwlee@graceba.net
    Becky Nordgren – clearimagesal@earthlink.net
    Jim Patterson – jimpattersonhd21@gmail.com
    Allen Treadaway – bsketa@aol.com
    April Weaver – (205)620-6610

    ***please note that Carly’s Law could go in front of any committee. In my opinion, it will be Health Committee or Judicial Committee. Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, makes this determination when bills are presented to him.

  • Copied from the Carly’s Law FB Page:

    Here is a list of email addresses of Health Committee members in the Alabama House of Representatives. If you support Carly’s Law, please contact them and let them know. If they have questions about the bill refer them to Rep. Todd or Rep. Ball. No email was listed for some of them, so call them. Let them know suffering Alabamaians need their help.

    We are the people, We will be heard!

    Chairman – Jim McClendon- jimmcc@windstream.net
    Vice Chair – Mike Millican – mike.millican@alhouse.gov
    Ranking Minority Leader – John Knight – (334)229-4286
    Elaine Beech – elainebeech83@gmail.com
    Donnie Chesteen – dchesteen@panhandle.rr.com
    Berry Forte – berry.forte@alhouse.gov
    Laura Hall – (256)859-2234
    Ed Henry – (256)260-2146
    Ron Johnson – (256)249-9489
    Joe Hubbard – joe@hubbardcoleman.com
    Paul Lee – pwlee@graceba.net
    Becky Nordgren – clearimagesal@earthlink.net
    Jim Patterson – jimpattersonhd21@gmail.com
    Allen Treadaway – bsketa@aol.com
    April Weaver – (205)620-6610

    ***please note that Carly’s Law could go in front of any committee. In my opinion, it will be Health Committee or Judicial Committee. Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, makes this determination when bills are presented to him.

  • I fully support you , Gena! It’s time that Alabama realizes that marijuana is not a drug. It’s a plant put here by God himself for our use to heal ourselves. Chemical medicines have so many side effects. Alabama is a poor state full of people who are sick and go without any treatment because they can’t afford. Even Obamacare is too expensive for those who are unemployed, or paid minimum wage. Not only will legalization of marijuana cut down on all these recent drug busts related to narcotics, it will also bring in much needed revenue and jobs to our state! Not to mention that Colorado uses a lot of their marijuana tax dollars for things such as education and healthcare programs. There are so many economical, medical and ecological benefits of legalization – hemp can be made into just about anything! The greed of “Big Business” is keeping all of us in the poor house. Why do we not have the right to a better, healthier life just because we’re in the bible belt? The “sacred herb” mentioned in the Bible was CANNABIS! Come on people, wake up! I’m even considering moving to a legal state for the betterment of my family’s lives.

  • the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    20 years behind us Ala, sad and scary…nobody denies freedoms like the south though, nobody

    AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

    • Branko Pezdi says:

      America’s war on drugs is pretty much universal, North and South, Democrat and Republican, in keeping with a long American tradition of puritanical intolerance. The temperance movements of a century ago were not much different.

  • Branko Pezdi says:

    C’mon folks! Everyone KNOWS that this cannabis oil is a gateway drug that will cause the 16-month-old baby to abuse and get addicted to all the other hard drugs – cocaine, crack, heroine, meth, you name it. The laws have been passed by our caretaker politicians to protect her – and us – because we don’t know any better.

  • John Williams says:

    Are we in China? Makes me sick that America prides itself on the idea of freedom and a mother can’t even get proper medication for a young child because of politics. This is selfishness at its best on behalf of the Federal Government. Its sad that in “the land of the free” other people can decide what you can and cannot do in your free time. Doesn’t sound like freedom to me. I’m only 22 and it sends an irresponsible message to the youth when we see that politicians think they know more about whether marijuana is beneficial to the body than Doctor’s do. ATLEAST John McCain respects the will of the people saying he will sign pro marijuana proposals. This is supposedly America after all.

  • John Williams says:

    It’s my constitutional right to make grammatical errors btw.

  • Jennifer Arrington says:

    I just wondered if you had tried the ketogenic diet with your child? My son had seizures from the time he was four months old until nearly a year old. We saw Dr. Jan Mathisen at Children’s South in Birmingham. He put my son on a ketogenic diet for which he stayed on for a year. Then, he was off of all seizure medications within six months of that. He is 8 now and has been seizure free for 7 years now. Just thought it might be worth a try while you wait for things to be legalized for you. There is an old movie with Meryl Streep in it called…First Do No Harm…that is mainly about this diet though the diet has been way modified since the making of that movie, but you atleast get the idea. Good luck! We will be praying for you!

    • Charles Waller says:

      The diet helps some, cannabis extract has helped every pediatric seizure patient with access to medicinal quality oil with the proper cannabinoid content in sufficient quantity. Not all are seizure free in a short time, often due to the lingering effects of prescription drugs and the necessity to wean them from the multiple drugs prescribed with addictive properties (see Jayden David in CA, it took nearly a year). Cannabis cures, period. Prohibition kills and is unconstitutional. Did you ever wonder why an amendment was required for national alcohol prohibition, but cannabis was placed on Schedule 1 of the list of “Controlled Substances” by act of Congress (temporarily) and retained there by the DEA against all scientific evidence and common sense?

  • tommy says:

    are yall all stupid this woman wants our state Alabama to legalize marijuana I bet these people are not even from ALABAMA their from up north they need to go back were they came from or go to Colorado we don’t want that stuff in our state an if yall want that go out west an smoke all u want our governor will not let this happen an our senator wont eather I talked to them when I seen this this morning

    • Ashley says:

      Your the stupid one, it isn’t smoked and I wish that you could take places with my son and have the horrible seizures he has everyday of his life. And Tommy I was born in Haleyville Al and I have lived here 30 years and I pray they make cannabis oil available here. why don’t you try researching and then you might not seem so stupid. and I am sure you actually picked up your phone and spoke directly to the senator and governor. yeah right

  • Sherry G says:

    Tommy, I am Charlotte’s grandmother. Let me assure you that our family is NOT trying to legalize marijuana. We want NON-THC oil from the cannabis plant…repeat NON-THC oil. In a way it would be like NON-ALCOHOL beer…why should NO alcohol beer be illegal? Also, our 16 month old would NOT be smoking it but the oil would be put in her food. On another note, my family has lived here within a 25 mile radius for at least 5 generations. That is the problem—we do NOT want to move when we should be able to get a non-psychoactive drug in our state. Right now Charlotte has to take valium and ativan when we could have a natural, PROVEN to be effective drug that is only available in Colorado. I suggest you educate yourself and research CBD oil, Charlottes Web, and also go to the Realofcaring facebook page. You will learn so much!!! I urge you not to speak against something you are not knowledgeable about. One more thing for the record—no one is my family smokes pot, we dont want pot, we dont want to smoke pot. We want NON-THC cbd oil. I see in no possible way where that would hurt you or anyone else in the state. Yet, we have a huge list of hard to treat children seizures that it would do a world of good for…..Please sir..RESEARCH!!!

    • Ashley says:

      People who think it is wrong want try researching it, but that’s ok cause we who have know the truth. I hope that it will become available in Alabama cause I know I will be one of the first people to also give it to my son. He is 10 years old and has suffered for so many years and the older he gets the worse his epilepsy gets. And he has just about used all of the medicines available. I have been told that he will never be seizure free. And trust me I have seen the miraculous changes that cannabis oil has made in the children in Colorado who are taking cannabis already. I can’t move to Colorado because I am not financially able to move my family and afford the treatment. That’s what people don’t seem to understand. Not everyone has the money. I hope and pray for your granddaughter and my son that it will become available here also. thank you for sharing your granddaughters story and being so positive when some people are not.

  • Sherry G says:

    Jennifer, yes Charlotte is also on the Modified Atkins Diet. She goes to Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis where her doctor is located. The nutritionist there helped my daughter with a diet for my granddaughter. I think it may have helped but its hard to tell. Dravet Syndrome patients usually get worse as time goes on which makes it hard to tell if some of what we are trying is helping or not. Thanks so much for mentioning that though! :)

  • Gena (Mom) says:

    This is interesting. Tommy, I don’t advocate for recreational use of MM. Right now, my daughter takes Valium for her seizures and when that doesn’t work, she takes Ativan. I don’t advocate the recreational use of Valium either. No I am not from “up North”. I was born and raised here in Huntsville, so was my husband. War Eagle.

    Jennifer, yes, we are on a seizure diet and it has helped to lessen the intensity of her seizures but done nothing for her frequency. Before the diet her seizures would last for 30+ minutes each. Now when she has a generalized seizure they usually stop with Valium in about 10 minutes. She averages about 10 various seizure types daily (astatic drops, absence seizures, and myoclonic seizures) even taking her daily medications. The Charlie Foundation has been a great resource for me for meal planning for Charlotte and the rest of our family.

    Since the airing of this interview, Charlotte has had 2 generalized tonic-clonics and is averaging 10 seizures a day of various types.

    Thank you all so much for all your love and support. I love my home state and our “Southern Hospitality”. This is why I want to stay right here and change Alabama’s laws to free our family from criminal charges for trying to give our daughter the best life we can. It is time we bring home the families from Alabama that are currently living in CO who are also seeking CBD oil treatments, as well as the other children in Alabama suffering from intractable Epilepsies.

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