Fourteen-year-old Oliver Miller suffered a stroke in utero that left him significantly handicapped, and still causes him to have hundreds of debilitating seizures every day.
His mother, Missy Miller, says Oliver needs access to medical marijuana, which has been shown to ease seizures in children. Oliver, she told Elite Daily in the moving video above, is currently "addicted" to benzodiazepines and barbituates to treat his symptoms.
For years, Oliver and his mother were on the front lines of the fight to legalize medical marijuana in New York state, and last month, all their hard work paid off.
The Millers live in Atlantic Beach, New York, in the district of Republican state Senator Dean Skelos. As the Republican co-majority leader, Skelos had always opposed the Compassionate Care Act, a bill to legalize medical marijuana in New York. It was Oliver Miller that helped change his mind.
"If you were to tell me at the beginning of this [legislative] session that I would be voting yes on this legislation, I would say to you, 'No way,'" Skelos said on the Senate floor June 19. "But when you meet Oliver Miller from my district, 14 years old -- and some of the folks here mentioned that they have 10 or 12 seizures a day, he has hundreds of seizures a day because of a pre-birth stroke. That's worth voting for this legislation."
The measure, although watered down from its original incarnation, passed in the state Senate and was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo this past weekend, making New York the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana.
Missy and Oliver still have a fight on their hands, though. It will take New York 18 months to implement a system for distributing medical marijuana. Oliver might not have that long, and Missy is working to expedite his treatment.