A Kansas native could face 25 years in prison for growing and using his own personal marijuana to treat a severe chronic condition.
Arrested in 2017, Larry Burgess currently faces three felony counts: growing marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance, and (because he posted pics of his treatment to Instagram) using a cellular or computer device to facilitate the commission of a felony.
Burgess, 43, has suffered from grand mal seizures for more than 10 years which, causing him frequent blackouts and violent muscle contractions.
At first Burgess took the traditional epilepsy medication he was prescribed. However, he told Leaflythat they caused blood toxicity and nearly killed him as his symptoms became more severe.
For years now, Burgess has been using cannabis as a substitute medication. First, after smoking a joint while on a trip to Denver, he found that he could finally sleep through the night without a seizure.
“I was overcome with emotion,” Burgess said. “I called my wife; she was sobbing, I was sobbing. And from that moment on I was an advocate. Trying that was a life-changer.”
When he returned to Kansas, Burgess set up his own small grow and found he was able to return to the daily activities, like attending his children’s events and mowing the lawn, which he’d missed out on for years. He was even able to start his own catering company with some success.
In April 2017, someone informed the police of Burgess’s illegal grow and they raided his home. After he was charged with his felony counts, a judge agreed to a bond modification which allows Burgess to move to Colorado while his case is pending, so that he can medicate legally.
In mid-February, he is required to return to Kansas, where will either accept a plea deal or face a jury trial which could sentence to over two decades in prison.
Photo via Flickr/Mark