BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two mothers forced from Louisiana to fight for their kids' lives are overjoyed now that lawmakers have cleared the way for medical marijuana dispensaries statewide.
"I'm so proud that Louisiana is making changes," said Michele Hall.
"I'm very pleased with the progress," Heather Treble added. "Our warriors on the ground and our mamas are fighting hard."
Treble's 12-year-old son, Ozark, uses oil forms of the drug to help with his mitochondrial disease, which leaves him with seizures and constant pain.
"He has epileptic seizures and he has a slow GI system. He has pain throughout his body and his joints and his muscles," Treble explained.
Since using medical marijuana, she said his condition has improved dramatically.
"It's helped with everything. It didn't just help with the seizures but it helped across the board," she said.
Now that her son is back on track and the dispensaries are getting closer to reality, Treble said it could mean coming home. She and her family has had to uproot their lives, moving roughly 1,500 miles to Colorado. Treble added the whole ordeal has been rough but worth it.
"We really needed to get somewhere where he could get better medical treatment," Treble stated.
With dispensaries set to open soon in the area, she is still cautious, though, of exactly how soon she might be able to return home. Right now, she believes there are just too many unanswered questions to come to a decision.
"We may push through some really wonderful laws and really work for out-patients and it could be a few years. That's just something that's really hard to say," Treble added.
"I'm excited for the state of Louisiana. We're getting closer," Hall exclaimed.
Hall's daughter, Ella, also uses the drug for her seizures. They, too, were forced out of the state to get the necessary treatment. Hall said the struggles of choosing her daughter's life over being with family are constant.
"I went literally by myself with three small children with nothing and, as a mother, that's terrifying," said Hall.
She applauds the progress being made in Louisiana but believes more needs to be done so other families here will not have to continue to choose between following the law or saving a child.
"Ella is seizure free, but two years ago, she was falling apart and it breaks my heart knowing that they can't get their hands on that medication," Hall added.
The two mothers call the drug a miracle and hope more of it gets into the hands of those who need it.