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Mom chooses cannabis over chemo

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:06:02 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 29 2013 11:41:27 PM CDT

A Colorado Springs three-year-old boy has cancer. His mom is swapping out chemo for cannabis. It’s a choice conventional doctors are calling dangerous, but the mom says it's the right choice for her child as he's now in remission.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs three-year-old boy has cancer. His mom is swapping out chemo for cannabis. It’s a choice conventional doctors are calling dangerous, but the mom says it's the right choice for her child as he's now in remission.

Sierra Riddle is giving her son Landon a capsule form of cannabis. She believes, as the saying goes, mom knows best.

Riddle moved to Colorado Springs from Utah in order to access the cannabis treatment.

Landon Riddle is an energetic kid. So full of life, mom can't keep up sometimes.  If you go back about eight months ago, you wouldn't recognize Landon.

"He would vomit like 50 times a day. No pharmaceuticals could stop it,” said mom Sierra Riddle.

Riddle found an alternative: medical marijuana in the form of capsules.

"Within four weeks we could see the improvement,” she said.

Landon takes four liquid capsules a day. Compare that to 25 pills a day- that's how many Landon could be taking with chemotherapy.

"Within three months, we all could see that chemo was killing Landon," said Riddle.

"I had to run a lot of Landon's medications at home. And so I'm sitting there pushing this into his veins and I know in just a short amount of time he's going to be very ill and vomiting and in pain and it's directly caused from my hand.”

The idea of giving her child marijuana, at first, she was skeptical.

"I assumed what everyone else assumed - that they smoked it,” she said.

But Riddle learned it's like giving your kid a vitamin. Landon told us yes, it’s easy to swallow the cannabis capsules. With cannabis, Landon is like every other three-year-old. He jumps on the trampoline, rides around the house on his bicycle and punches his ‘Beat Cancer’ bag.

 "If a little old marijuana plant is going to do all of this, then why is he on morphine? Why is he Ativan? Why is he on Xanax?" asked Riddle.

Riddle is spreading the word on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfferHopeForLandon) and at health conventions, telling other parents their children don't have to suffer like Landon did.

"A lot of people say I'm gambling with his life. I don't believe I am,” she said.

What Riddle does believe is she's doing everything she can to save Landon's life.

Children's Hospital in Colorado Springs was so concerned Landon wasn't using chemotherapy someone called child protective services. CPS is meeting with Riddle on Wednesday. Riddle says she plans on proving medical marijuana is a safe alternative.

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