- A group of brave Chilean mothers grows and uses cannabis to improve their quality of life of their children, who suffer from refractory epilepsy.
- In Chile using marijuana is legal, but growing, selling or transporting it is punishable by 2 to 15 years of jail.
In Chile more than 100 families form the group Mamá Cultiva (Mother Grows). Their children suffer from refractory epilepsy, a serious condition that prevents them from leading normal lives. Thus, they have decided to unite to share advice on how to grow medicinal marijuana in a clandestine manner, as cannabis alleviates the symptoms their children suffer.
We spoke with Paulina Bobadilla, the mother of Javiera. The anticonvulsants that the doctor prescribed her daughter caused damage to her thyroids, and numbness to pain, and she continued to suffer the same convulsions.
Age 7, Javiera has seen her quality of life improved thanks to cannabis: she takes two daily drops of marijuana oil daily to prevent seizures. Ever since she has slept better and is happier, like any girl her age. Her mother is flouting Chilean law, for which she could be jailed, but this "courageous mother's" only thought is to make her daughter happier. "I'm not scared about going to jail. What scares me is them taking the medicine away," she says.
These mothers are calling for medicinal marijuana to be legalised in Chile. The House of Representatives' Health Commission has already approved a bill to legalise growing marijuana in these types of cases, although the Congress is still studying it.
The social network Facebook has allowed many of these mothers to get to know each other, and the Mamá Cultiva group has already garnered over 7000 "likes" - a way to publicize their daily struggle.
In spite of their children's delicate situation, these mothers strive to transmit positive messages on the social network. "Here we are. Women and mothers empowered for a better quality of life for our children. Pure love and energy," they comment in the association's photos. Although their children will continue to suffer this serious disease, thanks to cannabis, at least their lives can be a little bit happier.