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A Colorado teenager named Coltyn Turner just celebrated the 22nd month of his debilitating Crohn’s Disease being in remission, after beginning cannabis oil treatment. Turner’s recovery has been nothing less than miraculous, as he had been so ill from his Crohn’s, he had been confined to a wheelchair.

The Turner family was forced to move to Colorado, from Illinois, in an effort to allow Coltyn to use his medication without fear of being considered a criminal and thrown in a cage, although the young man has been fearless in his resolve.

“I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead,” Coltyn Turner said.

Although the family is grateful to be welcomed into Colorado, Coltyn’s mother Wendy feels like they are virtual refugees whose lives have been uprooted in an effort to put their son’s health first.

“He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication,” Wendy Turner told Cannabis Now Magazine. “Coltyn can’t go, he can’t go back home, he can’t go see his friends, he can’t go see his family, he is stuck in the state of Colorado… He can’t live a normal life in the place where he grew up and the place where he has six generations of family. It’s just tough.”

After initially being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011, Coltyn’s health began to deteriorate as standard medical treatment failed to alleviate his debilitating symptoms, prompting doctors to recommend trying holistic alternatives.

“We had already been researching [cannabis] because he had been sick for so long and nothing was doing anything right,” Wendy said. “It really can’t hurt anything, the only side effect that it could have, was that it may not work. The decision to go with the cannabis was that there wasn’t any side effects, so we just picked him up and left.”

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Although the family has felt the hardship of having to be uprooted from their home in Illinois, Coltyn is grateful for his life-altering treatment.

“It’s great because I can finally do stuff that I wasn’t able to a long time ago, like I can finally ride my bike after three or four years, shovel snow, hike mountains and it’s just amazing,” Coltyn said. “It’s had a larger positive effect on me than any other pharmaceuticals have, and the pharmaceuticals, all they did was make it worse.”

While a number of states, as well as the U.S. federal government, continue to refuse to recognize the medicinal value of cannabis, and instead choose treat medical patients as common criminals, the scientific literature underpinning the medical legitimacy behind medical marijuana is compelling.

Meagan Holt, whose daughter Maddie suffers from a rare and debilitating disease that improves with cannabis treatment, summed up the state of marijuana prohibition in America perfectly in a recent statement to the Free Thought Project:

Cannabis allows my child to be herself. It allows her to enjoy the world while she is here. I can’t say for certain that cannabis will treat her Zellweger Syndrome. I still wake up to the reality that my child has already exceeded her life expectancy and every day could be our last. But what I do know is that with whole plant extract oil she is comfortable, coherent, and able to enjoy the little things, like a walk outside or play time with her sister.

The federal government needs to stop criminalizing innocent people for a plant. I am doing what any good parent would do and doing what is best for my child’s quality of life.

Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has been published on Ben Swann's Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.