Photo: Wendy Turner

Teen Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis And Gets His Life Back

Photo: Wendy Turner

 
41
comments

by Ellen Holland

on May 22, 2015

This story first appeared in Cannabis Now Magazine.

Recently, 15-year-old Coltyn Turner testified before the Colorado state legislature and rode a bike again for the first time in years. Previously so ill he was confined to a wheelchair caused by the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, over the past year the Colorado Springs teen has used cannabis oil on his path to healing.

“I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead,” he says.

Coltyn’s mother Wendy describes her family as Colorado refugees. Forced to uproot from Illinois to treat Coltyn with cannabis, the Turners have found a way to put their son’s health first. While they appreciate the welcome in the state that allows Coltyn to utilize cannabis as a medicine, being forced to move has not been easy – especially on the teenager.

“He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication,” Wendy says of trips other members of the family take to see relatives and friends back home. “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 Coltyn nearly drowned at Boy Scout camp in 2011, he developed a bacterial infection that doctors believe triggered his Crohn’s Disease. Once diagnosed with the disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract, the Turners searched for answers as their son’s health continued to deteriorate. When doctors suggested looking towards holistic remedies, the family turned to cannabis as one possibility.

“We had already been researching [cannabis] because he had been sick for so long and nothing was doing anything right,” Wendy says. “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.”

Photo: Wendy Turner

Photo: Wendy Turner

A 2011 study conducted by a team of researchers at the Institute of Gastroenterology at Tel Aviv University in Israel was the first to report on cannabis and Crohn’s Disease. Within the study, 70 percent of participants showed dramatic improvement. In addition, in 2013, the The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America released a statement, calling for additional research.

Families like the Turners don’t have the time to wait for such research to be conducted. The decision to treat Coltyn with cannabis was addressed at a family meeting with his brother and sister, then 15 and 11.

“We sat them all down and said ‘this is what we’re going to do, we’re going to try this cannabis and what cannabis is, is marijuana,” Wendy said, explaining that the kids didn’t care what the treatment was, only that Coltyn could be healthy.

Coltyn and his father Tommy left for Colorado a month later.

“We’re probably two of the biggest hypocrites, when it comes to marijuana use, that you’d ever meet because we were so against it when we were in Illinois,” Wendy says. “We never really believed that it was a bad substance, we always just believed that it was illegal and if you get caught with it, you get in trouble. We were a new family, we didn’t want anything to happen to our children and we own a gym full of little bitty gymnasts and we wanted to be the right people and do the right thing. We were just abiding by the law.”

When the Turners researched cannabis and how it might help they made the difficult decision to send Coltyn and his father four states away for treatment.

“I knew in my heart that this was the right thing to do,” Wendy says. “You would do anything for your kid.”

The gamble paid off. Coltyn started his treatment with cannabis through the state’s medical marijuana program in March and by July was climbing Blue Mountain.

“That was amazing to me. I was so happy for him,” Wendy says as she begins to cry. “It’s difficult, just even thinking about it. It’s amazing.”

Coltyn describes his experience in a similar way.

“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,” he says.

While they still have the support of their community and family back home, the Turners are also building a new support group of fellow cannabis refugees in Colorado Springs. They frequently host families visiting Colorado from non-medical states who are also seeking answers for their children’s health issues with cannabis.

“It’s had a larger positive effect on me than any other pharmaceuticals have, and the pharmaceuticals, all they did was make it worse,” Coltyn says.

While he’s not one for many words Coltyn has made a video that demonstrates his healing and shows the cannabis he takes. The video is proof enough, Coltyn believes as he closes with a shrug, “Any questions?”

 

there are 41 Comments

Watch This Powerful PSA From a Teen Who Treats His Crohn's With Cannabis

[…] prisoner in a small sanctuary that allows him to use the medication that works on his disease. She says her family are among a subset of the population who exist as “Colorado […]

0
Edward50

Hard to believe he would actually be arrested anywhere.

0
zarnon

So they did subsequent colonoscopies and found the disease had completely resolved? Why no specifics about the actual condition other than he feels better. Sure, that’s important, but people are advocating pot of for a variety of conditions on the thinnest of evidence.

0
Stel-1776

“I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead”, love that saying!

Denying people medicine like this should be a criminal act, instead using it is. What a bizarre situation we have created

Please help bring end this senseless prohibition. The organizations below fight every day to bring us sensible cannabis policies. Help them fight by joining their mailing lists, signing their petitions and writing your legislators when they call for it:

MPP – The Marijuana Policy Projecthttp://www.mpp.org
DPA – Drug Policy Alliancehttp://www.drugpolicy.org
NORML – National Organization to Reform Marijuana Lawshttp://norml.org
LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibitionhttp://www.leap.cc

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Newsletter #3 - Cannabis Weekly

[…] Teen Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis And Gets His Life Back […]

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Pa

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

0
Pa

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

0
Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment | Slantpoint Democrat

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner , need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

0
Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment | Slantpoint

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner , need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Patients are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment | AGReGate.info

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Press Today » Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment « U.S. Marijuana Party of Illinois

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Steph Sherer: Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment | Marijuana Drug Facts

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

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Steph Sherer: Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment -

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

0
Steph Sherer: Patients Are Relying on Congress to Reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment

[…] is not to spend any funds inferring with lawful state medical marijuana conduct. Patients, such as 15-year old Crohn’s patient/Colorado refugee Coltyn Turner, need the protection that a reauthorized Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would continue to […]

0
Luap Seugirdor

Laws against nature should be illegal! The only things that actually cure a lot of diseases are natural substances, whether it be plant or mineral. Pharmaceutical companies only produce products that calm problems, not fix them. Their only goal is to profit off the backs of the sick and dying.

0
Chris Bociek

I have a question…i have crohns too, where do i get these meds thx im legal too

0
Ken B

Chris,

I have had Crohn’s disease for 40 years, diagnosed with, and had a hemicolectomy at 26 years old.

I had purchased a house a few weeks before, my wife pregnant, and already one son.

I was told that it was retirement and disability pension for you .

I told them to shove it, and went back to work, but slowly and carefully, suffering regular bouts of diaorhea, but also refusing medication, and slowly figured out how to control this with diet.

I had to cut out fats, spicy food and alcohol.
Extreme moderation of any of these if I wanted any.

many years later, a new doctor told me to try deca-durabolin(a steroid), to help with weight maintaining, and vitamin B12 injections once a month, to aid digestion, and with very good results.

I have now cut down to just the B12 injections once a month, and also once a day, B12 tablets dissolved under the tongue.

I am 66 and still work full time in the flooring industry, a very physically challenging, and difficult type of work, with lifting heavy loads, and bending a squatting all the time.

I believe I owe my relatively good health to a combination of the hard exercise that I do every day in my work, and the B12 vitamin.

I still do have the cramps and occassional diaorhea, but usually because I eat something that I should not, but enjoy.
A small price to pay?

0
15 Year Old Treats Chrohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back | Collective-Evolution

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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15 Year Old Treats Chrohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back - Baffling. Info

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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15 Year Old Treats Chrohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back | Phoenix is Risen

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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15 Year Old Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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Per Hultquist

any info on what form was used and dosages?

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[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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Dominik Filipiuk

Good kid man

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[…] Cannabis Summit in Denver, Colorado, this past October. Pretty gutsy for a teenager. Here is a link to one of the many interviews and articles about him. I had the pleasure of talking with Coltyn […]

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15 Year Old Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back | Drugs and Usage

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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Young Crohn’s Disease Victim Improves Greatly After Cannabis Treatments

[…] Farmacy | Denver CBS Local | Reset Me | Leafly | United Patients Group | iReport […]

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COLTYN TURNER’S STORY OF CROHN’S: 15 Year Old Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back… – Public health issues

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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COLTYN TURNER’S STORY OF CROHN’S: 15 Year Old Treats Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis & Gets His Life Back… – Better Health USA

[…] “He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. 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.” (source) […]

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