Prop 2 Is Life-Changing For Prominent Utah Family
PROVO, Utah – Utah legislators plan to work out specifics of medical marijuana in a compromise bill after voters approved Proposition 2 this month, and the outcome will be life-changing for a prominent Utah family.
Life in the Campbell home in Provo is never boring. Connor Campbell, age 11, requires a lot of patience.
“I’ve felt since he was born that it’s not a mistake that he is the way he is,” said Emilie Campbell, Connor’s mother. “He’s hurt everyone in the family. We all have scars. Everything is broken.”
His father, Branden Campbell, is often touring with his band Neon Trees.
“Parenting Connor is not a spectator sport,” he said.
Much of Connor’s care when he’s away falls to Emilie.
“She’s super mom,” Branden said.
“It’s exhausting,” Emilie said. “When Connor is home, it is non-stop hyper-vigilance, totally all hands on deck. There’s no sitting, no relaxing.”
Branden joked, “We’re actually 25 years old; we just look 40.”
Connor had been having seizures every day since birth.
“Connor has intractable refractory idiopathic catastrophic epilepsy, all those big words,” Emilie said. “He also has autism.”
Those seizures have only gotten worse, causing him to miss months of school.
“He’s been on over 10 anti-seizure medications.”
After exhausting every resource, they found what works.
“We still have a few months before we’re really legal,” Emilie said, adding that medical marijuana controls his seizures. “It’s such a small amount and he takes it once a day.”
In the past, the Campbells have been active in advocating for change. However, the paradigm shift in how people think of marijuana is ongoing.
“We’ve had people ask, ‘Oh, so this is like Cheech and Chong for your kids?” Branden said. “And it was like, ‘No, our kid who can’t even put on his shoes or change his pants or use the bathroom isn’t going to sit and roll a joint.’”
Connor is improving at school.
“They said for the first time today that he was typing his name, and they just see him paying attention and tuning in,” Branden said.
For the Campbells, the passage of Prop 2 is a huge relief. Soon, if Connor requires care in the emergency room, medical cannabis may be a treatment option. They’ll also no longer have to worry about possible prosecution.
“To see it happen, and for Utah to come through, really was awesome. It felt like a total win,” Emilie said.
“It’s medicine,” Branden added. “Just like anything else.”
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