Enedina Stanger, a 27 year old mother of two and devout Mormon, turned herself in to the Weber County, Utah Sheriff’s office on drug charges yesterday.
Earlier this fall, a passerby called the cops when they smelled marijuana coming from Stanger’s car, where she and one of her children were sitting. Stanger was subsequently charged with felony child endangerment.
But Stanger is no stoner pothead.
Instead, she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes her body’s connective tissues to break down. As these tissues break down, her bones become easily dislocated, so that everyday, regular movements end up causing her severe pain.
After going to countless doctors and hospitals, and spending years lying in bed, Stanger became frustrated by the lack of results.
She told reporters at local news station KUTV that she had “been a guinea pig in the medical community for too long.”
And that’s when she learned about the medicinal properties of cannabis.
After smoking marijuana she discovered that it was the only thing that gave her a consistent and effective way to cope with the pain she was experiencing everyday.
For Stanger and her husband, cannabis was literally a Godsend.
Stanger told reporters that they’d been “praying for something that could help” when a friend told them about marijuana.
“It was a miracle,” Stanger said. “I don’t know how it works. I don’t know why it works, but I know it does work and I know it does not make me high.”
But since all forms of marijuana are illegal in Utah, Stanger had to treat her medical condition in secret.
She told reporters that she “totally understood it was illegal, but had to risk it to be alive.”
After turning herself in with her family yesterday, her felony charge has been dropped to a misdemeanor. However, she still faces six months of probation and has to take parenting classes, according to KUTV.
This means she’ll have to travel back to Utah for her classes, since the family moved to Colorado soon after learning that their children also have Ehlers-Danlos.
“If I have to go to jail or go to prison to make sure my daughters have a new form of medicine, and a way they can survive and not be hurt, and not have medicine that will ruin their life, I will do anything I can,” Stanger said.
The Stangers have also said they’d like to move back to Utah if the state ever legalizes medical marijuana.
There are currently two bills dealing with legalizing marijuana slated for the state’s upcoming legislation session. And a recent survey found that the majority of Utahns currently support legalizing marijuana for medical uses.
(Photo Credit: ldsliving.com)