Read more about our latest Cannabis News! CANNABIS HOME
It’s not uncommon to hear anecdotal stories of individuals or families who must move for medical reasons — specifically, access to medical cannabis. Some of these cases draw considerable media attention, like that of Yvonne Cahalane, the Irish mother who moved to Colorado for her then-2-year-old son, who suffers from a seizure disorder called Dravet syndrome, according to the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian.
For Cahalane, her journey to find help for her son took her across an ocean. But many Americans are moving for the same reason, shifting across the nation as legislation governing cannabis changes state-by-state.
The displacement of families seeking legal medical marijuana is becoming so well known that they now have a name: medical refugees. They tell their stories to reporters, document their struggles on social media, and while caring for ailing family members, hope to inspire legal changes.
They also join groups such as American Medical Refugees, a Colorado-based support group for families hoping to connect with those in similar situations and find resources. The organization was co-founded by Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran after she moved to Colorado from Oklahoma in 2013 for her son, Austin, who has Dravet syndrome. (Oklahoma wouldn’t legalize medical marijuana for another five years, but the plant has proven exceptionally popular among patients in the conservative state.)
These heart-wrenching anecdotes of ailing children and the risks their parents take to help them are not hard to find, but data that measure their numbers are sparse.
Data Not Readily Available
The moving company U-Haul tracks migration trends, but it and others don’t ask customers how they feel about cannabis. The tech company MoveBuddah.com, which helps people figure out the best methods for their move, doesn’t specifically ask people why they’re packing up. However, founder