Special Report: How a local father lost his son, 2, to opioids and fell victim to addiction himself
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Would medical cannabis prevent deaths from opioids? A Waukesha Alderman says yes and voters will get to weigh in on election day.
CBS 58's Brendan Cullerton shows us how opioids destroyed a local man's life and how turning to marijuana turned it around.
It was the worst moment of Brain Seamonson's life.
"I woke up and found Blake passed out in his bed," Seamonson said.
The Medical Examiner found out 2-year-old Blake had eaten his grandmother's discarded medical fentanyl patch. Seamonson says he was prescribed numerous medications to cope with his weekly PTSD from the event.
"And if you can imagine doing that once in your life, finding your child dead in their bed. I was doing it once a week for almost five years," Seamonson said.
Eventually he became too hooked on the opioids to get off without becoming violently ill and he turned to heroin just to feel normal throughout the day.
"You do it several times throughout the day and it's the last thing you do before you go to bed. I always described heroin as the devil. It literally has control of your life," said Seamonson.
He checked himself into rehab, got clean, and now smokes marijuana illegally as a substitute.
Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry put an advisory referendum on the ballot this November to allow medical marijuana.
"If we really to take actionable steps in Waukesha County to try to get rid of the opioid problem and over-prescribing, then we have to pass this," said Alderman Perry.
Recent studies in the Journal of American Medical Association show states that pass medical cannabis laws see a 20% reduction in hydrocodone use and a 25% reduction in opioid overdose deaths.
Seamonson says the states current prescription system discourages marijuana and facilitates opioid addiction.
"If you have any cannabis in your system, your doctor will immediately cut you off, and if that happens, your doctor is basically putting you into full blown heroin withdrawal."
Seamonson says opioids killed his son and nearly killed him. He wants others to have the chance for marijuana to save them too.
"I can successfully say, and proudly say that since July 4th, 2017, I have not taken one pharmaceutical, or used heroin, and I attribute it all to using cannabis."