“When nothing else works,” ‘Faces of Cannabis’ puts kids in the spotlight to change laws

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SALT LAKE CITY (KSTU) - Some believe it is a miraculous extract, but not everyone is board with using cannabis oil for medical treatments.

Nichole Montanez is a photographer who is using her talents to change the way people see the drug.

"I started this project over a year ago," Montanez told KSTU.

Her photography project is called the "Faces of Cannabis," and features children with epilepsy.

She has been to six states and photographed around 150 children.

"When nothing else works, you have to do everything you can for your child," said Angie Mathews, whose son has epilepsy.

She and other parents are trying to help change how the public perceives cannabis.

"I think the main goal is to put a new face to medical cannabis and put the children on the forefront and remind people why this is important and why we're doing it," Montanez said. "These are children. They're children just like your children or my children, and they deserve a chance."

In many states, it is illegal for parents to possess cannabis oil, which is used to treat children with epileptic seizures.

"He has had seizures since he was 2-months-old, it's a progressive epilepsy that is very resistant to medication," said Marina Alexandrescu, whose son suffers from seizures.

Marina says the cannabis oil has been a blessing.

"When I found out about it, I was very excited from the beginning," she said.

However, other mothers are still waiting.

For Angie, it could be another six months before her son can start using the oil.

"The prognosis for him without the cannabis oil, without giving it a shot, is grim," she said. "It's not good. It's life-threatening and he could die from it."

To check out the photos from the "Faces of Cannabis," visit the Hope 4 Children with Epilepsy website.