MARIJUANA MOVE: Iowa Family ‘Stuck In Colorado’

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A former Iowa family left the state for Colorado hoping to find a derivative of medical marijuana that could help their daughter.

Now they say those treatments will keep them from coming back to visit family and friends.

Last month we introduced you to the Selmeski's and the fight their little girl is facing.

Maggie is 17 months old but started having seizures when she was just six weeks old.

Maggie suffers from infantile spasms and has more than 500 seizures a day.

After seeing little results with seizure medication, the family decided to move to Colorado and try medical marijuana.

“Overall Maggie`s very lethargic and somewhat disengaged but since we started the cannabis oil we have seen her waking up and become a little more engaged with things,” says Maggie’s Mom Rachel Selmeski by phone.

Maggie is one of 93 children in Colorado receiving a low dose of an oil based marijuana called Charlotte's Web.

It's low in THC and high in CBD, which means it doesn't produce a 'high' but still has the portion of the plant valued for medicinal use.

“We actually started out low then we`ll gradually work our way up to try and find the best therapeutic dose for her,” says Selmeski.

Selmeski says they would like to be able to visit their friends and family in Iowa but won’t be able to leave Colorado.

“Until laws change Maggie’s stuck in Colorado the minute we cross over state lines we become drug traffickers and then we`re child abusers because it`s in her system so she`s stuck here until laws change,” says Selmeski.

But some in Iowa don't see that happening anytime soon.

“I think making something legal doesn`t make it safe,” says Director of the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Steve Lukan.

Lukan says the risk is too high to legalize the drug.

“It is a very powerful drug it can be a very addictive drug and I think the states where you have seen this push happen you have unanimously seen to usage with youth go up,” says Lukan.

Selmeski says they would consider a move back to Iowa if the drug was legalized, but until then they're staying put where Maggie's future is already looking brighter.

“Her awake is more awake and her asleep seems like she`s sleeping a lot more soundly so already we`re seeing positive results in the short week and a half that we`ve started her on a very low dose,” says Selmeski.

Selmeski says a lot of the families with children on 'Charlotte's Web' moved to Colorado for access to the drug.

The family expects to start seeing results in 4 to 6 months and has already started weaning Maggie off her current seizure medication.


  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    I sent an invite to WHO radio to interview some middle aged Iowans who moved to Colorado for our health…..rather than being a mouthpiece for lies and BS from Lukan…..they have interviewed me 4-5 times when I was there lobbying…Dan Winters. Dave Price you know me and now have my number… until I was sick to my stomach and left for my better health…now I am free no longer looking over my shoulder with fear of arrest…I only see mountains. I invite all Iowa adults looking for a better tomorrow…be it medical or ADULT recreational…to get a hold of me for a tour…

  • Megan Rock

    Thank you, WHO, for doing this story. It is so interesting to me when our Iowa lawmakers and speakers use speak opinions like they are fact, especially when they have no credentials in the subject like a PHD in pharmacology or anything that could give an actual reason that marijuana is “too dangerous” other than data that is so skewed that its been irrelevant since before it was ever published…if it even was published. Many people do not know that there are TWO active ingredients in marijuana, and that one of those ingredients is NOT psychoactive at all. Thank you for actually letting these facts be known to our Iowan public. Everyone needs all facts before making a well-rounded opinion. People who have never used marijuana or any other illegal substances cant make an opinion like that if they don’t know that there is a difference between marijuana and other illegal drugs and actually a closer comparison to other illicit drugs would be better made in their own medicine cabinet.

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    We are not stuck in Colorado, we are free from the tyranny of Terrybull Brandstad and his dark cloud hanging over the state, the man is toxic…just listen to Lukan……rather than look over my shoulder for police,…I see mountains now. It truly is like another counter of medical terrorists like Baudler..

  • Ashley

    Lukan, like the majority of ignorant Iowans, needs to do some research before making such false public statements. Idiot’s Out Walking Around – isn’t an acronym for no reason…

  • Harry Moyer

    The Iowa Pharmacology Board UNANIMOUSLY voted to legalize the medicinal use of medical marijuana… until the POS we have as a Governor replaced some of them for Republican/Teabugger stooges that, (like the POS Governor himself), don’t have any medical ethics.

  • Jodi

    Sad day when a family has to leave the state to treat their child! and then are unable to return to the state because of that decision! Iowa needs to do some homework on this! and how does that work, the Iowa Pharmacology Board votes unanimously to legalize medical marijuana, but we ignore that! I am ashamed of my STATE!

  • Troy Hendrickson

    Lukan is a compulsive liar who exists to serve the alcohol industry, according to his office, alcohol is a relatively safe drug with no real addiction issues, and in the mean time has proven himself too cowardly to meet with terminally ill people and explain his dishonest position towards medical cannabis.

    In other words, he’s a lying coward who hides from the people he harms.

    • William Denison

      The Right takes pleasure in being the bullys in others lives. Be it same sex marrige, equivalent pay for women, cannabis laws on and on and on. Who really is stopping the growth of this nation. The Right is. Don’t be their monkey folks.


    As a disabled Veternan I can not get the treatment I know works for me here in Iowa. If I do I lose the very freedoms I almost died for sadly. Stop the losing war on cannabis here it the state of Iowa. Our state has nothing to lose and alot to gain.

  • JD Morgan

    I guess the Director missed the various statistics out there that prove the exact opposite of what he just claimed…..marijuana a very powerful and very addictive drug? Making something legal doesn’t make something safer? No, but making something illegal doesn’t mean it’s dangerous either. And will somebody please finally explain why marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug for having “no medicinal usage” and “Highly addictive” yet cigarettes are 100% legal??!! Laws aren’t meant to make things safe or unsafe, they have no bearing on that. Liberty suggests that we individually should be able to choose what’s best for ourselves and that our body is ours, not property of any government to decide how it will be used.

  • John Varnos

    “It is a very powerful drug it can be a very addictive drug and I think the states where you have seen this push happen you have unanimously seen to usage with youth go up,” says Lukan.

    You might think that Mr Lukan but you’re wrong. That’s not what statistics show. But then never let facts get in the way of an opinion I guess.

    Again, a state drug czar with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo speaks as if he is some kind of authority. He spouts the typical lies that all of the prohibs do.

    This charade must end soon and we can all make it happen.

  • Immortal Illumined

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING….

    only 20 years behind us Iowa, sad and scary…i started with 0 states, like we need Iowa, lol….keep denying your people their freedoms as your children die for nothing….


  • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

    How sad that Iowa is still so behind the times. Sometimes it seems we are still stuck in the 19th century. It is amazing we have vehicles, roads and farm machinery other than horse drawn. I was offended when someone told me something similar to this thirty years ago. Then I left Iowa and lived in three other states. When I returned I was aghast at how far behind the times Iowans really are.

  • Erik

    “I think making something legal doesn`t make it safe,” says Director of the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Steve Lukan.

    Anyone that uses this argument immediately loses any credibility. There are MANY legal prescription medications that are orders of magnitude more powerful, dangerous, and addictive. ANY opiate painkiller is worse. Adderal is an Amphetamine Sulfate… If Mr. Lukan wants to argue against allowing Medical Marijuana, at least he should use accurate information.

  • Kim

    I am a mother to an adult son who has coped with grand mal seizures, since 17 yrs …. is now 11 years later & has went from taking just one seizure med to control them; to now; 4 seiz. medications; to keep them managed the best that he can. I understand so much through my experiences as Mom, caregiver & so much more what little Maggie is going through. I TRULY DO! !! The family could have chose to go to the John Hopkins with their daughter, FIRST, to try the Ketogenic Diet. My thought is at least TRIED that first before the last resort of ‘this oil’. THEY chose to MOVE to CO by doing so, was going to isolate them from everyone. IF they had tried J Hopkins University, at LEAST they could maybe gotten a cure. My son has has numerous seizures! As he tells people, “I am epileptic”.
    The state of IOWA shouldn’t have to CONSTANTLY hear about this, until Iowa changes its laws. It can not be expected to be changed for this ONE family to move back. I FEEL for Maggie ~ as I TRULY understand what that little one is going through. At that age, my son who is epileptic now, had open heart surgery done.
    I would NEVER chose to move so far away with him, ONLY to make the state where they did NOT live, but family member do, change the laws!!

    • der

      Derp derpty teedle e deedle de derp de dumb. Your an idiot. Learn something about ‘this oil’ before pushing your hopkins university down peoples throats. Derp

  • eli

    I smoke weed in Iowa like it’s legal people need to stop being scared just smoke in public if anyone has a problem punch them in the face the more demand for weed the faster it can legalize…. all these white folk need to stop drinking and smoking trash cigarettes that contain radio activity people here ib Iowa incredibly ignorant wen it comes to weed and cheap too your all a bunch of lame squares ….no one has told me anything but if they do I’ll gut them like a fish without warning bunch of punks!

    • der

      All these white folk, sseriously? What are you racist? I’m pretty sure people of all races drink and drive in any givin state. Retard. I’m all with you on the marijuana subject, but don’t act like a clown.

  • eli

    I can’t believe we live in a system I did not ask for this I was born in this place called society (prison) where everyone is a slave puppet of the government ….every man deserves a Pease of land where he can live and provide for his family with agricultural knowledge past dowb from generation to generation and that’s the truth and your human right as a creation of God who gave us no more no less and no man made law can ever surpass the law of God ….stop the system stop the lie stop paying to live ….you are a work of art and God made you just remember .

  • Bigd

    Iowa needs medical listen to the facts you are Americans. Living with a czar hays and other around you who against this you need to wake up and looks at the state that are using this medicine to help slow the cancer down and other medical man has a write to make a medical decision for some one who is sick god only has that write and this plant is. Created by the old mighty god him self I use medicine and help me very much .how can you wake up and honestly say you no what your talking about with out proper education . You are lying to your state, and to people who are suffering from there sickness. Teach your children about this medicine that is helping. And educate your mind before you talk about this issue. If it was your on Child you would think different

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