A girl who inspired sweeping changes to marijuana laws across the globe has died after contracting COVID-19.

Charlotte Figi rose to prominence after a CBD-rich strain of marijuana proved extremely effective in treating her epileptic seizures. She was subject to intense media coverage and her story paved the way for changes in marijuana legislation across the US and further afield. The cannabis strain was renamed Charlotte’s Web.

She has now sadly died aged 13 after contracting the coronavirus. “Charlotte is no longer suffering,” said her parents in a Facebook post. “She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love.”

The Colorado schoolgirl suffered from a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. She suffered hundreds of seizures per week and all manner of pharmaceutical treatments proved to be ineffective.

By the age of five, Charlotte struggled to walk. Her parents convinced two licensed doctors to prescribe medical marijuana and they tried out different strains on her.

Eventually they turned to Colorado-based cannabis producer Stanley Brothers, which offered up a strain called Hippie’s Disappointment. It was high in CBD but low in THC.

It produced a remarkable improvement in her condition. The number of seizures she suffered reduced to just three per week. Stanley Brothers renamed the strain Charlotte’s Web, and the story captured the imagination of parents across America.

Medical marijuana started to be used to treat many more Dravet Syndrome sufferers, and it convinced several states to legalize the strain.

She was dubbed “the girl who is changing marijuana laws across America”. Medical cannabis is now legal in 33 states and many countries worldwide, and that is partly down to Charlotte’s case.

Lawmakers including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz led tributes to Charlotte. They expressed sorrow at her death, but promised that the movement she has ignited will live forever.

In an emotional blog post, the Stanley Brothers – Joel, Jared, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Josh, and Austin – called her “a little girl who carried us all on her shared shoulders”. It also said that her legacy will continue to build harmony and help ease the pain of epilepsy sufferers.

The novel coronavirus struck the Figi family and led to Charlotte being hospitalized. She passed away on Tuesday night.

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