KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This week was the first in months that two-year-old Autumn Gordon from Lenexa, Kan., has been able to play outside.
Autumn suffers from Sodium Channelopathy. It’s a genetic mutation that causes her to have prolonged seizures several times per month. Her mother, Christine Bay, said it’s hard for her to enjoy being a kid.
“It’s hard to explain to a two-year-old why her brothers can go outside and she can’t go out and play. She can’t go outside if it’s over 70 degrees,” Bay said.
Like hundreds of other families, Bay said they tried almost every pharmaceutical medication available to Autumn. Now they’re looking to hemp oil or CBD oil as a last resort.
The oil is made from the same plant as marijuana, but it doesn’t have a high amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high. The oil has been known to dramatically reduce seizures in children.
“Her life is worth it. Her life is worth that chance,” she said.
Families from across the nation, including Missouri and Kansas, have moved to Colorado to get the oil, where marijuana is legal.
In the last six months, 12 states including Missouri passed some sort of CBD oil or hemp oil bill. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed the state’s bill in July. The bill had an emergency clause making the bill effective immediately.
Bay said she was excited to find about the bill over the summer, and she is ready to move her family across the state line from Kansas to Missouri to get access to the oil.
But the Missouri government hasn’t told families when they can get the potentially lifesaving drug.
“It makes me very angry. You were put here to represent us, to help us.”
Missouri State Representative Caleb Jones sponsored the Hemp Oil bill and said hundreds of families have called his office frustrated. He said right now it’s up to the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to create the rules and regulations to grow the hemp and dispense the oil
“It’s very frustrating as a legislator where you’re trying to do the right thing to help these families. The legislature passed a piece of legislation, and we’re being hamstrung as politics as usual,” Jones said.