Weber County, UT — Enedina Stanger is a wife, a mother of two, and now, thanks to the state of Utah, a convict. She also suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlo Syndrome (EDS). Stanger, who relies on a wheelchair to move around, has been battling EDS for most of her life. Stanger’s EDS causes her excruciating pain because of the disorder’s tendency to cause joint dislocation.
“When that happens there is nothing that we have been able to find that stops those spasms and those cramps,” explains Stanger.
After countless prescription drugs failing to prevent or treat her severe chronic pain, Stanger and her husband took a legal risk and turned to cannabis. And it worked. “Cannabis is a medicine,” Stanger’s husband Michael said. They had finally found a way to alleviate the horrid pain of her EDS and were also given hope for future treatment of their two daughters, Elena, 4 and Eva, 3 — who are already exhibiting signs of the genetic disorder.
But all that hope was crushed in October, when a “see something say something” indoctrinated citizen smelled the dangerous plant in a grocery store parking lot and called the cops. When police arrived, Enedina had both of her children with her. She was arrested and, according to Stanger, charged with felony child endangerment — for treating her illness with a plant that grows from the ground.
“They decided to charge me with child endangerment,” she said. The wheelchair-bound Enedina was then brought to jail, and Child and Family Services were dispatched. This mother of two was now facing prison time and the possibility of never seeing her children again.
Luckily for Enedina, on Monday, she was offered a plea deal by the judge and her felony charge was knocked down to a misdemeanor possession charge. Enedina was given six months probation and forced to attend parenting classes. Since the arrest, Enedina and her family have moved out to Colorado, a state that will not kidnap, cage and kill people for possessing this plant.
But Colorado is not their home, and the Stangers feel like they shouldn’t have to be exiled to get the medicine they need to live a life with less pain. They have since taken the battle back to Utah where they are pushing for legal marijuana.
“We’re going to try to make a difference. It’s a fight we were thrown into,” Michael said. “Instead of getting beat up, we’re going to fight.”
Of course, they have been met with opposition from ignorant politicians who think it’s their job tell people what they can do with their own bodies.
“To just sit there and say, ‘Because of this one case here with this rare condition, we throw open the barn doors?’ I’m not ready to go there,” said Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, frivolously ignoring the mountains of evidence that prove marijuana to be a safe and near miraculously effective medicine. As FOX 13 reports, the family plans to make several return trips to push for the law and garner support, as they look to transform Enedina’s case into legislative action. The Last American Vagabond would like to wish the Stanger family luck in their battle against the drug warriors.
There comes a point in time when society must take a step back and honestly question the definition of what’s criminal and what’s legal. Is the mother of two, who wishes to treat her horrible and debilitating pain with a plant, the ‘criminal,’ because what she is doing is not ‘legal’? Or, is the system that would kidnap this mother and throw her in a cage and take her children for attempting to treat her pain with a plant they say is not ‘legal’ the ‘criminals’?
It’s high time we, as a society, start asking these important questions.