Iowa Family at Mayo is Pushing for Rx Marijuana

Updated: 03/25/2014 6:25 PM
Created: 03/25/2014 6:23 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Medical marijuana continues to be a topic of heated discussion. Opponents say there's not enough research, and it's not necessary. But there are those who are brought to tears, at the mere thought the drug could bring relief to their loved ones.

"Basically we knew something was wrong. She wouldn't wake up. As a mother, you knew," said Verona Bedtka, an Iowa mother. She and her husband, Tim, have spent the past eight months looking for answers.

Their 8-month-old daughter Aby suffers from seizures and spasms.

"You hate watching your child go through that," said Verona.

After seeing doctors at different Iowa hospitals, they finally decided to make the four-hour journey to Rochester.

"We knew that we could get answers from Mayo Clinic and we've gotten some answers," said Verona.
Little Aby was diagnosed with infantile spasms. And while they now have their answers, treating it has been another problem.

"There's two medicines that can be used for infantile spasms and she tried both of them. Both of them haven't worked. We've tried other baselines meds, nothings worked," said Verona.

So the Bedtka's starting doing some research of their own. And they think they've found a solution in a marijuana-based medicine, called CBD. The only problem, it's illegal.

"It ain't like our daughter's gonna be smoking a joint. You know on amoral basis, personally me and my wife think recreational smoking marijuana, we think it's wrong. We think it does damage to the brains. But we think there's a medical purpose for it," said Tim.

"A little girl in Colorado that her seizures, she was having 300 seizures a week, and after she started CBD oil, the brought her down to 0 to 1. Now she's running, jumping, laughing, playing, and I want that for my daughter," said Verona.

If laws don't change soon, the family says they'll be moving to Colorado; if only for the chance little Aby could get some help.

"It makes you desperate as a parent. It makes you search out all the options and be willing to uproot your family and move them," said Tim.

Last week, Governor Dayton called on lawmakers to pass a bill that would fund medical marijuana research. The governor tapped Mayo to conduct that research. But Tuesday, he said the chance of it passing are slim to none. He believes supporters are fighting a bill that includes smoking marijuana; something he's against.