Tina McDermott and her son, Ryan, no longer need to move to Colorado, as they were planning to do in September.

They can now use medical marijuana in their home state, Iowa.

"Just the thought to be able to use it on him is amazing," said McDermott, a Davenport mother of six children. "Maybe we can get him off the terrible medicine he's on."

Ryan, 7, is her youngest. She shared his story with the Quad-City Times last year.

He has Dravet syndrome and suffers multiple epileptic seizures on a daily basis. She's had him on numerous pharmaceuticals that she says haven't worked for his seizures and cause damaging side effects.

The family was raising money so that Ryan and his mother could move to Colorado, which has legalized medical marijuana, and live there a few months so he could have access to cannabis oil to treat his seizures.

They were planning to move in September. With the Iowa Legislature approving the use medical marijuana for severely epileptic children, McDermott said they no longer need to move to Colorado. They are planning to make a few trips there this summer to buy cannabis oil once they can get a doctor's recommendation.

With access to medical marijuana, McDermott and other parents with epileptic children wonder: Does it work?

Iowa native Rachael Selmeski, who lives in Colorado, said she's had her daughter Maggie on daily cannabis oil treatments since October. The 2-year-old suffers intractable epilepsy.

Last year, Selmeski told the Quad-City Times that her daughter can have up to 500 seizures in one day. On Thursday, she said that after using a cannabis oil called "Charlotte's Web," the seizures have reduced by 30 percent.

"Across the board, we're seeing amazing results with Maggie and all our other friends out here on treatment," Selmeski said. "It's undeniable that it's medicinal, and it's exciting Iowa is doing that.

"Maggie's got a little more spunk to her. She's not that lifeless body anymore."

Prior to using cannabis oil, Maggie was on pharmaceuticals exclusively. Even with the oil, she still takes some prescription medication, but Selmeski said she's slowly weaning her child off of them.

(5) comments

Alice in Wonderland

I am ecstatic for this boy to get the true help he needs. I was a little curious...where is his father? There was no mention of him at all. I'm sure he is just as happy. We'd all love to hear from him too.


Josh your right as far as that is what the strain is called, it's been bred to be a high CBD to THC ratio strain nothing is extracted or taken away from it making it an oil or a tincture or from smoking it, both are the same it's just a personal preference of how to be applied,there's no monopoly on it I can buy those plants for 12 dollars a piece which each one will produce 3 to 9 lbs per plant The shops make around 4000 to 6500 dollars per pound before taxes,I live in northern California and I know my med card as a grower, supplier and patient is good and valid in at least 5 states, Iowa is providing it so people can go to states where it's legal and transport it home I don't see any state with mmj laws that are going to argue or deny that

josh cannabis sativa
josh cannabis sativa

...and the oil itself isn't called "Charlotte's Web". That's just the strain of marijuana used to make that kid's oil, of which certain people are attempting to use to build a monopoly for cannabis in various states, though there are many strains with a high CBD:THC ratio which could be utilized for such medicinal product.

josh cannabis sativa
josh cannabis sativa

It's unfortunate to see they think they can get help legally in Colorado now, but Colorado doesn't allow non-residents to get a "red card"; just Oregon does, if I remember right... This law is absolutely ridiculous, because it only helps a few rich people get richer. Furthermore, if you ask trusted medical sources like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, for example, you'll learn that removing any cannabinoids from the extracted oil product isn't necessary what anyone needs. The full plant should be re-legalized for all Iowans; a full repeal of prohibition...


Very exciting! So happy for this family. .Definitely a step in the right direction Iowa!

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