Not surprisingly, politicians in Pennsylvania have stalled a crucial vote on legalizing marijuana. And the cost has literally been deadly.
While a bill working to legalize medical marijuana has been held up in the Pennsylvania State House, a mother living in Harrisburg says that her two-year-old “daughter died waiting” for the medicinal cannabis that might have saved her life.
“Her first seizure lasted a grueling 45 minutes,” Becky Witwer said about her daughter, Grace.
That first seizure happened when Grace was only four months old, and she was quickly diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Struggling to find effective treatments for their daughter, Grace’s parents were hoping to try medical cannabis oil, which many have found to be helpful in reducing the number and severity of seizures.
Sadly, they were never able to explore this option, as Grace passed away during a particularly violent seizure just four months before her second birthday.
“She was blue and we had to do CPR,” Grace’s father Richard Witwer told ABC 27 News. “There were no signs of life, but I was just hoping. It was too late.”
“My daughter died waiting,” Becky said during a rally calling on leaders to legalize medical cannabis. “I want to ask the legislators standing in the way of the compassionate bill why wasn’t she worth it, why didn’t she deserve a chance?”
“How many children have to die? I will never get her back. I will never hear her laugh again, but others can be saved. Do not wait another day to pass this bill.”
Pennsylvania legislators were set to pass the bill to legalize medicinal marijuana, but it was suddenly “yanked from the house agenda,” according to local news sources.
These sources also reported that lawmakers “introduced amendments as a stall tactic” to keep the bill from passing.
Grace’s tragic death should serve as a powerful call to end marijuana prohibition—especially for politicians and leaders like DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg, who has come under fire for flippantly calling medical marijuana “a joke.”
He should ask the Witwers how much of a joke it really is.