Our first article in our new Athletes Section is not about Mike Tyson's grow, or Mike James' travails with the NFL, or Christian Okoye's ability to overcome pain using CBD... We're going with a story that represents many of the joys and sorrows faced by Americans who use cannabis to solve intractable health problems, only to learn the myriad unfair ways the insidious scourge of Prohibition ruins lives.
The boy's local TV station Fox24/ABC16/WGXA first covered the story:
"C.J. Harris was a sophomore in high school when he was diagnosed with epilepsy -- after having his fourth seizure. He wouldn't find a cure for his seizures until after his 14th seizure on January 10, 2017. Harris, a senior at Warner Robins HS, tried a combination of pills and other medicines before being prescribed cannabis oil by his doctor. He started taking the oil on January 20, 2017, and has yet to experience another seizure since."
The CBD-heavy blend he takes is called Hailey’s Hope, which contains less than 0.3 percent THC, according to the label. It took about a year for Harris to legally obtain the cannabis oil, during which time C.J. was taking doctor prescribed anti-seizure medications, which "affected his concentration and engagement, which in turn affected his schoolwork."
The cannabis treatment not only ended the teenager's seizures, but also keep his personality intact.
“My family and people at school all said I wasn’t myself on the anticonvulsant medication... they noticed a change in me right away [when I switched to cannabis oil],” Harris said.
C.J.'s dream story continued:
"After helping lead the Warner Robins Demons to a state championship appearance as a starting safety this past year, Harris received a preferred walk-on offer from Auburn University -- his dream school."
As The Miami Herald picked up the reporting in Cannabis oil helped his seizures. But now he can't play football at his dream school
"Warner Robins football player CJ Harris hoped to fulfill a dream that had been threatened by seizures when Auburn gave him a preferred walk-on opportunity in February. But three months later, the medication that brought Harris’ life back to normal will now keep him from playing for the Tigers."
It's not that Auburn didn't know about the player's background - the player's father was up front from the jump:
“Obviously, I always like to be forthright with everybody as far as what CJ’s medical condition is,” Curtis Harris said in March. “I know that can be a big hindrance into whether or not they want to have him. Even when I started reaching out to Coach [Brown], I put the article about CJ’s story in my texts. We actually never really touched on it after that. He really didn’t say nothing.”
To be fair, Auburn has little choice in the matter. As a member of the NCAA it must follow the rules of the organization, where THC is banned even at .3%.
Harris can now choose to play junior college ball, or change medications and risk the side effects he suffered earlier. From the Herald:
“The oil has allowed me to live a normal life again,” Harris said. “The things other people my age can take for granted — swimming, driving a car, riding a bike — the oil gives me the ability to do those things without fear for my safety or the safety of those around me.
“It’s my prayer that I will never have to choose between the oil that helps me lead a normal teenage life and the sport I love.”
Image source: wgxa-tv