Lift

Lift

April 14, 2015 08:00 ET

Children Benefiting From Medical Marijuana-The New Face of 4/20 Day

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 14, 2015) - Adding a new twist to the counterculture's "420" (April 20) celebrations, Vancouver-based Lift Cannabis Co. has launched an innovative fundraising initiative for four sick children who are trading pharmaceuticals for medical marijuana in order to limit their severe epileptic seizures.

The campaign, called #420forChange, asks marijuana aficionados from around the world to take a more charitable stance for this year's 4/20 Day and donate $4.20 in honour of the annual April 20 celebrations.

The recipients of the donations are four children from BC and Ontario who have suffered from dozens and sometimes hundreds of seizures a day due to severe epilepsy and other conditions. Traditional pharmaceuticals proved to be ineffective in controlling the seizures, and it was only when these families turned to high-CBD strains of medical marijuana that the seizures were reduced - and in some cases, eliminated altogether.

But because medical marijuana isn't covered by insurance, these families often have difficulty bearing the financial strain placed upon them. Furthermore, the families need to have the dried marijuana processed into a form (typically oil) that's suitable for children to consume - a process that can add further costs.

Lift's founder, Tyler Sookochoff says, "420 has traditionally been a day to celebrate and push forward the marijuana legalization debate, but we at Lift hope that this year, April 20th will be a day that raises awareness and highlights the challenges that these four amazing kids and their families face every day. We hope that this campaign will raise the much-needed funds to help support these families, as well as many families in the future who depend upon medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Ultimately, we hope for more progress and change."

Mandy McKnight, the mother of one of the four children, described how her family's experience with medical marijuana has changed her young son's life: "In June 2014, within 24 hours of receiving his first dose of cannabis, Liam was seizure free. From 67 seizures a day to zero and he continued to be seizure-free for 10 consecutive days," states McKnight. "For the first time in two years, Liam isn't seizing everyday! Cannabis has allowed us the option of weaning Liam off all anti-epileptic pharmaceutical medications and he continues to thrive solely on cannabis as treatment with a 90% reduction rate in his seizures."

"For change to happen, the story of medical cannabis must first be told," says Sookochoff. "We hope the #420forChange campaign will not only raise money for these families, but also raise awareness about the stunning results that high-CBD strains of marijuana are having in controlling seizures. Furthermore, we want to highlight the challenges these kids and their families face in obtaining and using medical marijuana in a form that's safe."

Lift will be holding a forum on May 7, 2015 at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver to discuss these issues as well as the future of marijuana standardization and regulation in Canada.

The #420forChange campaign runs from now until April 20.

To learn more about Liam, Kyla, Remington, Zen, and their families, and to donate, please visit: www.420forchange.org.

To be put into contact with the families for interviews, please contact David Brown.

About #420forChange:

#420forChange is a fundraising and awareness campaign launched to help four sick kids who have found relief from chronic seizures through the use of medical marijuana. www.420forchange.org

About Lift Cannabis Co.:

Lift is an informational portal that makes exploring, buying, and consuming medical marijuana easier for Canadians. www.liftcannabis.ca

About epilepsy and seizures in children:

Each year in Canada an average of 15,500 people learn they have epilepsy and 44% of those diagnosed are under the age of five. Children with severe intractable epilepsy can have hundreds of seizures a day and experience a diminished quality of life. Many families facing this battle have found that traditional pharmaceutical treatments are ineffective and have terrible side effects. Over the course of the last few years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for their children's debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. Ground-breaking clinical trials have begun, but the uphill battle these children and their families face is ongoing.

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