The push to legalize medical marijuana is heating up after the Florida Division of Elections confirmed supporters of medical marijuana will get a second chance to vote on the constitutional amendment.
“There should be no why. It should be when and how... And now,” Renee Petro said outside her Hillsborough County home. Petro’s 13-year-old son Branden suffers from a rare disease that causes seizures. She said medical marijuana is the only thing that stops his suffering.
“He has been on 16 different pharmaceuticals, and they don’t work,” Petro said. “Not only does he still have seizures, but we deal with the side effects; suicide, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, insomnia, anxiety... The list goes on.”
Petro shared a video with ABC Action News taken of her son on Tuesday night. It shows Branden refusing to take his medicine. That is a theme Petro said she constantly deals with.
“My son will not take his pharmaceutical medication, so just last night, we had to beg him to take them. He said to me, ‘Mom, it doesn't make me feel good. I don't want to take it. I will stop the seizures by myself,’” Petro said. “To hear my almost 14-year-old son tell me that ... these drugs are hurting me please stop... That, in itself, should be enough for the legislators to do the right thing.”
Branden suffers from Febrile infection related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES). Petro said she took her son to California for two weeks to consume medicinal marijuana, and she said the benefits were amazing.
“He was a totally different child. He was able to function normally. He went seizure-free for 60 days,” Petro said.
Petro said anyone who wants more information on the moms who are fighting for their children to have access to medical marijuana can go to their website Cannamoms.
Petro urges everyone in support of the constitutional amendment to get out and vote this coming November.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure it passes this time around,” Petro said. “We will not stop educating the people on why this needs to be brought to our state.”