Why This Teen Is Fighting to Make It Legal for Kids to Take Medical Marijuana

By LEIGH SCHEPS
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Several times a day, Rylie Maedler, 13, uses a small pipette to take medically recommended cannabis oil, placing a drop on her tongue once in the morning, during lunch, at dinner and before bed.

The Delaware teen has been taking it since she was 7, after being diagnosed with aggressive giant cell granuloma, a rare type of illness that affects the jaw, causing large, painful tumors to grow and inflicting seizures. The lesions can be removed via surgery but often reoccur.

"In second grade, my face started to grow and it was getting bigger, and my mom decided to take me to the hospital," Rylie told InsideEdition.com. "I was just so uncomfortable.

"Seeing my face in the mirror made me really sad," she added.

At first, Rylie's mother, Janie Maedler, didn't know how to help her little girl. “It's actually like a gut emptiness of when the doctors first described to us what was happening and what they thought was going to happen,” Maedler said. 

After doing some research online, Maedler decided to give her daughter cannabis oil, which at the time was illegal to give to children. But she had read that the substance could help manage pain and maybe even stop Rylie's seizures, so Maedler procured it to help her daughter.

“I was so scared," Maedler said. "Any time you give your child any kind of new prescription, you're scared, because you're looking for those side effects.”

What happened next surprised Rylie and her doctors. The tumors shrank and her seizures stopped. “It's way smaller than it was before and I haven't had a recurrence in about four or five years,” Rylie said.

“Cannabis oil made me feel so much better," she added.

Dr. Andrew Ordon, who's featured on "The Doctors," told InsideEdition.com there hasn't been enough research carried out to determine whether marijuana can really help treat symptoms like Rylie's. He recommended talking to a doctor before starting your child on any marijuana-based treatments.

"The key is if you're thinking about trying it; you need to see a pediatrician who's specialized in using marijuana and especially in dosing marijuana CBD oil for your kid."

These days, Rylie's taking cannabis oil legally after helping pass three laws in her home state of Delaware. One makes it legal for kids to be administered medical marijuana, while another lets children take it at school. The third adds children with severe autism to the pediatric qualifying conditions for being recommended medical marijuana.

Next up on Rylie’s agenda is to get another law passed that allows nurses to administer medical marijuana to kids.

"It was illegal when my mom gave me cannabis," Rylie said. "It made me feel so much better and I didn't understand why other kids couldn't have it, so I wanted to help those kids."

She’s also created the nonprofit, Rylie’s Smile Foundation, dedicated to helping sick children and their families, as well as her own business, Rylie’s Sunshine, a research and development company that creates marijuana-based recipes for debilitating pediatric illnesses.

“I want to give them medicine that is good quality and also affordable," Rylie said. "There’s so much that's so expensive and not good because once I had cannabis medicine and it had mold in it and was terrible.”

Maedler added: “She is very inspiring to a lot of people and I love seeing what she's doing.”

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