MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family says they couldn’t wait any longer for medical marijuana to become legal in Minnesota. They’ve spent the last month in another state to see what cannabis can do to help their son.
The Hausers were one of the families that fought for the law at Minnesota’s Capitol for months. Their son Wyatt was having hundreds of seizures a day but a program in Oregon is showing real promise.
“It’s been a long month that’s for sure,” Jeremy Hauser said.
The Hauser’s spent most of it in separate states — Jeremy and E.J. lived in Minnesota while Jessica and Wyatt stayed in Eugene, Ore.
When WCCO first met the family, 2-year-old Wyatt was suffering 200 seizures a day. They had tried a strict diet and 10 different epilepsy drugs without seeing much of a difference. Desperation sent them 1,800 miles from home.
“He’s alert. He’s engaged. He’s doing things for the first time that he’s never done before,” Jessica Hauser said.
For the last four weeks, Wyatt has been a part of a program through MxBiotech, a clinic that’s worked with more than 3,500 patients in Oregon to connect them with cannabis.
“Wyatt represents proof it works,” founder Troy Morris told WCCO over Skype.
Wyatt tried small doses of 18 different marijuana strains over the course of several weeks. His seizures have been cut nearly in half.
“Any reduction for him is a huge improvement. It’s amazing,” Jessica Hauser said.
Wyatt has also started to walk. It’s a milestone the Hausers weren’t sure would ever happen.
“He discovered himself in the mirror for the first time. We’ve been waiting for him to do that since he was 8 months old,” Jessica Hauser said.
But Wyatt’s time using marijuana will come to an end. The Hausers are heading back to Minnesota this Wednesday. With careers, a home, and a close family, they need more time to decide if a longer move is possible.
Patients like Wyatt will be able to access marijuana in Minnesota next summer. Still, there’s no guarantee he will be able to get the specific strain that’s helping him right now. Minnesota’s law is considered one of the most restrictive in the country. The law doesn’t recognize a prescription from another state, so Wyatt will essentially have to start over.
“It’s basically you have the solution and then they can’t have it,” Morris told WCCO.
The Hausers know Wyatt will likely lose all he’s gained this month. After helping to change a law back home that they once hoped would mean they wouldn’t have to move.
“We’re at a crossroads,” Jessica Hauser added. “What do we do to save our son?”
Wyatt is currently off all of his prescription epilepsy medication that, without insurance, would cost the Hausers thousands of dollars each month. The small amount of marijuana he’s taking runs about $50 a month.
Under Minnesota’s program, it’s estimated that 5,000 patients will sign up for medical marijuana.
Jessica Hauser is keeping a blog on Wyatt’s battle with seizures.