Pot for Tots: Children and Medical Marijuana

Judy A. Rollins, PhD, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2014;40(2):59-60. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Since he was just a few months old, 10-year-old Zaki Jackson has suffered from a rare form of epilepsy that, at its worst, causes him to have thousands of seizures a day. The seizures, which his mother describes as a "full body electrocution," render him unable to talk or walk, and sometimes cause him to stop breathing (Schwartz, 2014).


For 10 years, Zaki's family tried to combat his syndrome with 17 different pharmaceutical medications, a specialized diet, and alternative forms of therapy, such as acupuncture. The various medications caused weight gain, incoherency, extreme cramping, and sleeplessness; they never stopped the seizures. Today, Zaki is among more than 180 Colorado children currently being treated with a special strain of medical cannabis known as "Charlotte's Web," named for 7-year old Charlotte Figi, whose successful treatment was featured in a 2012 CNN documentary called "Weed." In the year since Zaki began treatment, he has been seizurefree (Schwartz, 2014).