Local family speaks about how medical cannabis has helped their son

Fight to expand current medical marijuana law continues at Capitol

SAN ANTONIO – As the Texas Legislature debates the expansion of the current medical marijuana law, one San Antonio family is seeing the benefits of the medical cannabis oil they give to their son.

For the past year, David and Melyssa Stallcup have been giving their 3-year-old son, Dawson, a cannabis oil called "Lone Star" from Compassionate Cultivation, one of three licensed dispensaries in the state.

Dawson was born with "Lissencephaly," which means smooth brain.

"It entails seizures, a development of about five months and also a mortality of 2 to 10 years," David Stallcup said.

They discovered Dawson had the disease months after he was born, and at 6 months, they soon realized he was having seizures. He was having anywhere between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

Melyssa soon researched cannabidiol and found an oil she was able to get mailed to her. 

The parents started to see improvements in Dawson, but then one of his doctors suggested they try medical cannabis.

Dawson qualified to get medicine from Compassionate Cultivation. The results were astonishing. He went seizure-free for two months, and now he gets them only once or twice a week.

"To see him follow you, track you, reach for a toy, it's been amazing," Melyssa Stallcup said. 

While the cannabis oil is helping Dawson have a better quality of life, it is not covered by insurance and is costing the family $1,500 a month.

"You do what you have to do for your children," David Stallcup said. "You figure out a way to make it work."

Seeing the improvements in their son has made the Stallcups more vocal about current legislation and the limited access other families have.

"To keep it restrictive to intractable seizures, I think we are doing a disservice to a lot of other families that can maybe get access to it and see the benefits," David Stallcup said. 

Last week, the Texas House passed two bipartisan bills that would add other medical conditions to the list that qualify for the cannabis oil. 

In the Texas Senate, the issue remains an uphill battle. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has previously stated opposition to widening access to medical marijuana. 

About the Author: