school’s by R ANDY R OB IN S ON
Jack Splitt I S L I K E A N Y O T H E R T E E N A G E R . H E W A T C H E S S P O N G E B O B.
HE L I K E S H I S H A I R TO G R O W P A S T H I S E A R S. W H E N H IS M O T H E R, S TAC E Y L I N N, A S K S HIM A QUESTION, HE DOESN’T GIVE HER A STRAIGHT ANSWER. HE INSTEAD RESPONDS WITH A RATHER D I S A R M I N G S M I L E , O N E T H AT B E A M S W I T H A N AL AR M I N G LY B OY I S H C H A R M. “Are you sure? Is that a yes?” she asks. He blinks. No, no, he was just kidding. Jack’s smile widens. Stacey Linn laughs.
when Jack’s muscles uncontrollably contract, causing his limbs to lock up in uncomfortable positions. Jack didn’t always take cannabis oil for his cerebral
Jack was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral
palsy. Prior to cannabis treatments, he relied on an ar-
palsy. Unlike most teens his age, he spends his days
ray of pharmaceuticals to control his muscle spasms.
in a wheelchair. Although he cannot speak, he and
Because his symptoms could be incredibly severe, his
his mother developed their own code between one
doctors often prescribed medications to him off-label—
another. Through eye movements and facial expres-
meaning those drugs weren’t designed for his symp-
sions, he can communicate with her.
toms, but because nothing else worked, they decided to
And unsurprisingly, at 15 years old, Jack is quite the
give these other drugs a try. The compounding toxicity
kidder. The past couple of years have been a roller
of his conventional meds took their toll on his liver,
coaster ride for this mother and son duo. Jack is one of
and Stacey Linn’s memories of her son before canna-
Colorado’s underage medical marijuana patients. One
bis were of a lethargic child, swollen in the face and
symptom of his condition is dystonia, which occurs
hazy-eyed from a cloud of tranquilizers.
AUGU ST 2016