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Why Weed Is One 6-Year-Old's Only Hope

6-Year-old with epilepsy finds her only cure in medical marijuana.
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

No matter where you stand on the medical marijuana debate, you've probably got an image of the typical user in your head. (Thinking of it now? OK, now replace that with the image of a sweet-faced 6-year-old girl named Charlotte Figi.)

Charlotte's sadly been battling debilitating seizures for years after developing a very rare form of epilepsy. Over time, the seizures were wreaking havoc on her body, leaving her with the inability to eat, speak or live the normal life every 6-year-old girl should get to have. As Charlotte's dad, Matt, told CNN, the family exhausted every option out there to treat her condition—including a special diet that led to some kooky behavior (like eating pine cones outside in the yard).

That's when a team of neurologists and pediatricians finally wrote a script for an uncommon remedy: cannabis oil. In just under 8 months, Charlotte went from having nearly 300 seizures a week to just 3. And that's not all.

Here's what her dad told CNN about her progress:

[Charlotte] is consistently eating and drinking on her own for the first time in years. She sleeps soundly through the night. Her severe autism-like behaviors of self-injury, stimming, crying, violence, no eye contact, zero sleep, lack of social contact ... are a thing of the past. She is clear-headed, focused, has no attention deficit. Charlotte rides horses, skis, paints, dances, hikes. She even has friends for the first time. Her brain is healing. She is healthy. She is happy.

Charlotte's story is just one of several stories highlighted in a CNN documentary called Weed, which aired for the first time last night, August 11. Watch a clip of it here.

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