Lithia family's very personal stake in medical marijuana fight - FOX 13 News

Lithia family's very personal stake in medical marijuana fight

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LITHIA (FOX 13) -

Renee Petro showed us two very different versions of her son Branden.

First, before he got sick; and then after.

"Branden is relying on me to help. He doesn't want to be sick," she said.

At around 9 years old, he was diagnosed with Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome -- or FIRES.

Just minutes before our interview, he had a seizure.

"I'm numb now. I'm literally numb. When he seizes, I'm numb all I can see is a plant and I can't grab it and I can't reach it. It kills me," Renee said.

She's talking about medical marijuana. It is currently illegal in Florida, but she believes it's her son's last hope. He currently takes several harsh medications, some of which she says causes him suicidal thoughts.

"When Branden's 25 to 30 years old, he's going to look at me and say 'Mommy you never gave up on me'," she said.

Petro has even taken her fight to lawmakers in Tallahassee. Advocates for medical marijuana are pushing to get it on the November ballot. The group behind it says they have the signatures.

But opponents still aren't convinced. We spoke with Calvina Faye the Director of Drug Free America earlier this month.

"This initiative proposed is not about medicine, it is about legalizing and making marijuana socially acceptable," Faye said.

But if it means saving her son, Petro says she won't give up.

"I know when I die, I'll die in peace because I did everything for my son. That's my duty as a mother," she said.

If medical marijuana isn't legalized here in Florida, Petro says she's packing up and moving out west to a state like Colorado or California that has legalized it. She says she'll move  -- no if ands or buts -- all to help her son.

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