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Kids with seizures use pot as treatment

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In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Matt Figi hugs and tickles his once severely-ill 7-year-old daughter Charlotte, as they wander around inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web, which was named after the girl early in her treatment, in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. A few years ago, Charlotte’s doctors were out of ideas to help her. Suffering from a rare disorder known as Dravet’s syndrome, Charlotte had as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, was confined to a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak. Now Charlotte is largely seizure-free, able to walk, talk and feed herself, with her parents attributing her dramatic improvement to this strain of medical cannabis. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Matt Figi hugs and tickles his once severely-ill 7-year-old daughter Charlotte, as they wander around inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web, which was named after the girl early in her treatment, in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. A few years ago, Charlotte’s doctors were out of ideas to help her. Suffering from a rare disorder known as Dravet’s syndrome, Charlotte had as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, was confined to a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak. Now Charlotte is largely seizure-free, able to walk, talk and feed herself, with her parents attributing her dramatic improvement to this strain of medical cannabis. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web grows inside a greenhouse, in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Charlotte’s Web is a strain of marijuana in which the psychoactive THC has largely been bred out, and the other cannabinoid compounds thought to be medically useful accentuated. Increasing anecdotal evidence that the pot strain is helping some children with epilepsy has led some families desperate to help their children to relocate to Colorado for treatment. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Elizabeth Burger, 4, plays with a decorative plastic cup at home in Colorado Springs, Colo. Elizabeth suffers from severe epilepsy and is receiving experimental treatment with a special strain of medical marijuana, which she takes orally as drops of oil. After years of nearly losing their daughter while trying and failing with dozens of mainstream treatments, Elizabeth’s parents moved from the east coast to Colorado, where they say they have had luck with Charlotte’s Web, a proprietary strain of medical marijuana in which the psychoactive THC has been largely bred out, and the other cannabinoid compounds thought to be medically useful accentuated. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Aileen Burger holds up a bottle of cannabis-infused oil used as medicine for her 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who suffers from severe epilepsy and is receiving the experimental treatment with a special strain of medical marijuana, at her home in Colorado Springs, Colo. After years of nearly losing their daughter while trying and failing with dozens of mainstream treatments, Elizabeth’s parents moved from the east coast to Colorado, where they say they have had luck with Charlotte’s Web, a proprietary strain of marijuana in which the psychoactive THC has been largely bred out, and the other cannabinoid compounds thought to be medically useful accentuated. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Elizabeth Burger, 4, holds her mother’s hand at home in Colorado Springs, Colo. Elizabeth suffers from severe epilepsy and is receiving experimental treatment with a special strain of medical marijuana, which she takes orally as drops of oil. After years of nearly losing their daughter while trying and failing with dozens of mainstream treatments, Elizabeth’s parents moved from the east coast to Colorado, where they say they have had luck with Charlotte’s Web, a proprietary strain of medical marijuana in which the psychoactive THC has been largely bred out, and the other cannabinoid compounds thought to be medically useful accentuated. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The doctors were out of ideas to help 5-year-old Charlotte Figi.

Suffering from a rare genetic disorder, she had as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, used a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak. As a last resort, her mother began calling medical marijuana shops.

Two years later, Charlotte is largely seizure-free and able to walk, talk and feed herself after taking oil infused with a special pot strain. Her recovery has inspired both a name for the strain of marijuana she takes that is bred not to make users high — Charlotte’s Web — and an influx of families with seizure-stricken children to Colorado from states that ban the drug.

“She can walk, talk; she ate chili in the car,” her mother, Paige Figi, said as her dark-haired daughter strolled through a cavernous greenhouse full of marijuana plants that will later be broken down into their anti-seizure components and mixed with olive oil so patients can consume them. “So I’ll fight for whomever wants this.”

Doctors warn there is no proof that Charlotte’s Web is effective, or even safe.

In the frenzy to find the drug, there have been reports of non-authorized suppliers offering bogus strains of Charlotte’s Web. In one case, a doctor said, parents were told they could replicate the strain by cooking marijuana in butter. Their child went into heavy seizures.

“We don’t have any peer-reviewed, published literature to support it,” Dr. Larry Wolk, the state health department’s chief medical officer, said of Charlotte’s Web.

Still, more than 100 families have relocated since Charlotte’s story first began spreading last summer, according to Figi and her husband. The relocated families have formed a close-knit group in Colorado Springs, the law-and-order

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