Canada’s tumultuous cannabis regulations are struggling to keep up with the realities of citizens in that country. Just a few days ago, the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services denied Morgan Oulton, a twelve-year-old girl with “multiple brain abnormalities,” several different types of epilepsy, behavior disorders, cognitive impairment, and autism cannabis treatments because she requires care outside of her home. Morgan’s story is the same and different from those of many of the world’s children who are uncommunicative, ill, or repressed by diseases, disorders, and health issues beyond their own control – her family hopes that cannabis might provide the solution, or at the very least a bit of peace for them and their daughter. But they can only try it if the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services allows them to, because she is technically a ward of the province now.
In Canada, the type of care Morgan requires is called “provincial” care, which is similar to state care in the United States since Canada has provinces instead of states. Essentially, custody of Morgan had to be signed over to the province of Nova Scotia when her family could no longer handle her care themselves. This is a tragic story of massive amounts of pharmaceutical drugs being thrown at Morgan when she was a very young age, increasing behavioral problems, physical deterioration, and the withdrawal of Morgan from her family and friends. Chantelle Oulton, Morgan’s mother, noted that the prescribed drug treatments seemed to cause vicious cycles of relief from some symptoms, and the increase of others. These vicious cycles continued until Morgan’s mother could not take it anymore and decided to remove all medications from her eleven-year-old daughter’s regimen completely.
After stopping the pharmaceutical drugs, Morgan changed for the better. She told the CBC/Radio Canada that her daughter was no longer “the little zombie we had always had,” and began eating, sleeping, and “blooming” cognitively after the drugs were stopped. The only problem was that Morgan’s energy level became so much higher, and her curiosity so much stronger, that her parents had trouble controlling her. Morgan was finally able to comprehend and view a world which had only been hazy and distant to her before. One day Morgan ran away from home, and that’s when her parents knew they needed help. As great as it was, Morgan’s new healthy and manipulative personality was too difficult for the family to control, so they signed her over to the province, where she has been living at Yarmouth Association for Community Residential Options (YACRO) with 24/7 caregivers ever since.
Morgan’s seizures returned soon after she was placed at YACRO however, and her doctors put her back on her anti-seizure medications. Despite these precautions, Morgan has suffered 10 grand mal seizures over nine months and up to 20 petit mal seizures (also known as absence seizures) in one day. With the negative results of the anti-seizure medication, her family has made the decision to once again wean Morgan from the drug, and wants to try cannabis oil after she is completely off of the prescription drug. The only thing standing in their way is the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services. Morgan’s pediatric neurologist consented to allowing Morgan to try cannabis oil with a prescription from Halifax Cannabinoid Medical Clinic, but provincial care is still denying her access to the medicine. According to a spokesperson for the Department of Community Services, “Experts in the field have advised against the use of medical marijuana for people under the age of 18,” and this is why Morgan is being denied her medication. You have to wonder which “experts” the department is talking about, since many qualified doctors and programs have shown that cannabis oil works for many children with both autism and epilepsy.
The Petition for Cannabis Oil for Morgan Oulton
To Morgan’s parents, the Department of Community Services’ statement seems like a blanket denial of a medicine that may well prove to be Morgan’s miracle cure, or at least a therapeutic treatment that might allow her to lead the life of healthy, happy young adult. There has been no consideration of Morgan’s well-being, just what the hazy cannabis laws of Canada currently allow for, and some haphazard research conducted in order to back up the province’s claims that cannabis oil is not allowed to help Morgan and her family live a happy life. In light of this, the Oultons have started an online petition which they will send to the Canadian prime minister’s office as soon as they have enough signatures. Please sign the petition to support Morgan and her family, who has asked to remove Morgan from the province’s care to pursue medical cannabis oil treatment for their daughter.