Santa Rosa Family Fights for Daughter’s Right to Go to Kindergarten — with Her Cannabis Meds

September 11, 2018

By Lee Romney

A growing number of parents whose kids suffer from seizures have discovered thatmedical cannabis can reduce their frequency and intensity. Over the past few years, seven states have passed laws giving kids access to that medicine while they’re at school. California’s not quite there. For one Santa Rosa family the stakes are high and the fight isn’t over.

When I first met Brooke Adams last fall, the four-year-old with strawberry blond pigtails was attending a private Santa Rosa preschool.

She joined the other kids at circle time for sing alongs, and mingled with them at snack time. When it was time for speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, those practitioners came to her.  

Interacting at school with other children helped Brooke thrive, said her mom, Jana Adams. The little girl was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome when she was just three months old.  It’s a rare and severe form of childhood epilepsy that often causes developmental delays.  

Like a lot of kids with Dravet, Brooke didn’t respond to a long list of heavy-duty pharmaceutical drugs. Every time she had a seizure, Jana told me, “we’d have to call 911 to have her ambulanced to the ER, to load her up with all kinds of drugs. Her longest one was three hours.” The rescue medication they tried to stop seizures would often slow her breathing so much, she would have to be intubated.

Until Jana and her husband discovered medical cannabis.

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