15-year-old Coltyn Turner isn’t your average teen. He’s successfully treating his debilitating Crohn’s disease, all thanks to cannabis.
Although the American FDA hasn’t yet approved cannabis for any diseases, Coltyn finds relief from the leaf for his Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes severe weight loss, pain, ulcers and majorly decreased quality of life. Now that he’s medicated, Coltyn’s inflammation and ulcers have all but disappeared.
This teen’s path to health, however, has been paved with angst. After a near-drowning incident at summer camp in 2011, Coltyn fell ill with a bacterial infection; soon after, he developed a condition that doctors identified as Crohn’s.
People with Crohn’s suffer from bowel obstruction and higher risks of cancer, not to mention daily discomfort. Coltyn was no exception, eventually being confined to a wheelchair.
But all that changed when the Turner family met to talk about Coltyn’s options. The teen was miserable, and his family knew they had to do something. In the PSA, Coltyn explains: “I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead.” Around that time, his doctors suggested they consider other holistic options for treatment.
So they moved from Illinois to Colorado, where it was legal for him to try cannabis oil as a possible solution. And get this: it worked.
A study done in Israel back in 2011 found a strong positive correlation in the effects of cannabis on Crohn’s disease. 70 percent of the people in the study showed an improvement in their symptoms after using medical marijuana.
Coltyn found that the same was true for his disease. After he and his father packed up and shipped out to Colorado, he finally experienced relief. Once a few months had passed, Coltyn was climbing local mountains. A year later, he was able to ride a bike again. And soon after, Coltyn even testified about medical marijuana to the Colorado legislature.
But he’s unable to travel back home to see relatives or visit friends, and his mother Wendy feels her son is essentially a prisoner in a small sanctuary that allows him to use the medication that works on his disease. She says her family are among a subset of the population who exist as “Colorado refugees.”
No matter what, Coltyn is among the children finding real relief and health improvements from cannabis as a medicine. Still, there’s gotta be a more just way to dole out this safe, effective medicine — without keeping anyone from seeing their family.
What rules do you think will need to change to make cannabis widely available as a medicine? Do you think everyone should be allowed to use this healing plant? And what do you think Coltyn will go on to achieve next? Leave your thoughts in a comment below, then watch Coltyn’s powerful PSA: