Mother celebrates step in fight for medical marijuana - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother celebrates step in fight for medical marijuana

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You may take a rainy day for granted, but not April Stumpf -- not with Quinn.

"Her little body goes through too much," Stumpf said. "Much more than it should."

Stumpf's daughter, 22-month-old Quinn, suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that has left her in a perpetual daze. Doctors haven't been able to control her seizures, and her development has been delayed. Stumpf said she has the cognitive ability of a 3-month-old.

"Hold it up, hold it up, Quinn," she said, supporting her daughter's head.

Quinn seizes hundreds of times a day, damaging her hearing, and the rest of her body with each painful arch of her back.

"There's more than what this is right here," Stumpf said, holding her daughter. "It's inside of her and I believe the cannabis oil can help bring that out."

Thursday, Stumpf won a partial victory for her daughter's cause. The Iowa Senate passed a bill legalizing the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy, just a day after Stumpf and other mothers lobbied their representatives in Des Moines.

Now, the bill goes to the House for approval.

"You know, Iowa needs to step up and pass this legislation," Stumpf said.

Throughout the discussion, some have raised concerns about abuse of the drug. But as an oil, it cannot be smoked, and doesn't produce marijuana's trademark high.

Stumpf believes the drug could keep Quinn's seizures in check, because her situation can't get much worse.

"I feel like I'm putting her in danger with FDA-approved medications I'm giving her now," she said. "Which is terrible, but we don't really have any other choice.

Someday, with the seizures under control, she hopes her daughter can appreciate the rain, just like everyone else.

"To see her communicate with me, other than whimpers and cries, but with smiles and laughter ... that would be amazing," Stumpf said.

If the bill is approved, the drug would not be sold or produced in Iowa, but could be bought in from neighboring states and legally administered here, under the supervision of a doctor.

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