Coltyn Turner, a 15-year-old boy from Colorado Springs, Colorado, uses medical marijuana to treat his Crohn's disease (video below).
“I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead,” Coltyn told the National Jewish Health’s Marijuana and Health Symposium in Denver in June 2015, reported KCNC.
Coltyn takes cannabis oil four times a day for his Crohn’s disease, which he has had since was 11 years old.
“I was just on every pharmaceutical there was out there until I would up in a wheelchair,” Coltyn recalled.
Coltyn's parents moved the family from Illinois to Colorado in 2014 so their son could try cannabis oil. Coltyn no longer uses a wheelchair, and says there has been a significant improvement. But the move has taken its toll.
“He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication,” Wendy, Coltyn's mother, told Cannabis Now magazine. “Coltyn can’t go, he can’t go back home, he can’t go see his friends, he can’t go see his family, he is stuck in the state of Colorado … He can’t live a normal life in the place where he grew up and the place where he has six generations of family. It’s just tough.”
Coltyn almost drowned in 2011, and subsequently got a bacterial infection, which may have triggered the gastrointestinal disease, according to his doctors.
“We had already been researching [cannabis] because he had been sick for so long and nothing was doing anything right,” Wendy added. “It really can’t hurt anything, the only side effect that it could have, was that it may not work. The decision to go with the cannabis was that there wasn’t any side effects, so we just picked him up and left.”
Scientists at the Institute of Gastroenterology at Tel Aviv University in Israel found in a 2011 study that 70 percent of people with Crohn’s disease improved by using cannabis. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America called for more research regarding cannabis treatments in 2013, reports Cannabis Now magazine.
“We’re probably two of the biggest hypocrites, when it comes to marijuana use, that you’d ever meet because we were so against it when we were in Illinois,” Wendy recalled.
“We never really believed that it was a bad substance, we always just believed that it was illegal and if you get caught with it, you get in trouble. We were a new family, we didn’t want anything to happen to our children and we own a gym full of little bitty gymnasts and we wanted to be the right people and do the right thing. We were just abiding by the law.”