Tag: Sanjay Gupta

Mark Your Calendars: Celebrate Charlotte Figi on April 7th

The cannabis community has made tremendous strides both politically and culturally in recent years, with 15 states passing legalization laws, along with Washington, D.C., Guam and the the Commonwealth of the North Marina Island. Medical cannabis laws have been passed in 36 states, our nation’s capital, and three territories. And now, ending federal cannabis prohibition has passed the United States House and is now a mainstream position, with strong majority support among voters. There are so many activists that have helped paved the way for our success. We literally stand on the shoulders of giants and one of those giants was a young girl named Charlotte Figi, whose brave fight against epilepsy helped change our culture almost overnight. The cannabis community mourned the passing of Charlotte last year and now we can all take a day to honor the late medical cannabis patient on April 7th, as Colorado has officially declared the date Charlotte Figi Day.

The Denver Post reports:

On April 7 — officially dubbed Charlotte Figi Day in Colorado — family, friends and fans are invited to join a virtual celebration of life called Rock the RoC. Hosted by Realm of Caring, a nonprofit organization dedicated to medical marijuana research, education and advocacy, the two-hour event will feature live performances by the Avett Brothers, the War and Treaty, and Ruthie Foster, plus guest appearances from Gov. Jared Polis, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and more.

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Charlotte was one of Colorado’s many medical marijuana refugees, her family having moved to the state following cannabis legalization. From the time she was an infant, she suffered from frequent and severe seizures because of Dravet syndrome, a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease that causes unrelenting epilepsy in children and adults. The Figis tried numerous medications to quell Charlotte’s seizures, but none worked.

Then, at age 5, (her mother Paige) Figi gave her cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, and Charlotte’s condition changed overnight. Her seizures became less frequent. She began speaking again after months of silence.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that Charlotte and her family had on our nation’s debate around cannabis legalization. It’s still baffling to me how important television is to Americans, but it certainly is. The Figi family sharing Charlotte’s health struggles and success with medical cannabis with Dr. Sanjay Gupta was a seminal moment in cannabis activism, bringing the medicinal benefits of cannabis further into the mainstream than ever before. Thanks to Charlotte and her family, Dr. Gupta went from being a prohibitionist to becoming a prominent ally. A sincere thanks to Charlotte (may she rest in peace) and her family for their strength and courage. Let’s all remember to honor Charlotte on April 7th. Her namesake strain, Charlotte’s Web, and her immense impact lives on.

Rest in Peace Charlotte Figi, Your Strength Saved Lives and Changed the World

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, causing immense pain and grief across our nation and globe. One thing that I have learned during this crisis is to better appreciate that there are people who live their entire lives in a constant state of emergency and those people need help, support, and hope.

I imagine that there can be no greater sense of despair than watching your child suffer. Unfortunately, this is an all-too common part of life for too many people. Hearts around the world were changed when they learned about the suffering of Charlotte Figi and her family because of Dravet syndrome. Cannabis extracts improved her life and the world was changed for the better. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Charlotte passed away yesterday at just 13 years of age. May she rest in peace and power, forever. My heart goes out to her parents Matt and Paige, her family, and everyone mourning the loss of a special angel warrior.

Most people first learned about Charlotte’s plight from Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special “Weed” and that mainstream attention changed the debate around medical cannabis and cannabis in general. Here’s an excerpt from the CNN piece “Marijuana stops child’s severe seizures“:

Today, Charlotte, 6, is thriving. Her seizures only happen two to three times per month, almost solely in her sleep. Not only is she walking, she can ride her bicycle. She feeds herself and is talking more and more each day.
“I literally see Charlotte’s brain making connections that haven’t been made in years,” Matt said. “My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn’t know about this? How come they didn’t make me aware of this?”
The marijuana strain Charlotte and now 41 other patients use to ease painful symptoms of diseases such as epilepsy and cancer has been named after the little girl who is getting her life back one day at a time.
It’s called Charlotte’s Web.

In this life, we can only hope to impact as many lives that Charlotte did. The Charlotte’s Web strain was named after her and countless people will have their lives saved and improved thanks to her strength. While my heart aches for her family, I’m glad that we live in a world where brave people like Charlotte and her family stand up and change the world for the better.