Thanks to many, including attorney and Denver City Council candidate Warren Edson, Chaz Moore, aka Bill Smith, can now leave school to take his medical marijuana per his doctors recommendation, and return to school to continue receiving his high school education.
By Teresa Dupuis | Published in The Green Leaf
He was known as “Bill Smith” when this story broke. Chaz Moore is stepping forward to show everyone he’s a normal kid, who is just trying to live a normal life.
“One time we went to Memorial Hospital, they told us he was just there to get high, blah blah blah,” Shan Moore, Chaz’s father said. “They wouldn’t treat him.”
When the episodes started in late December 2009, they began with Chaz breaking out in hives, which were only temporarily treated by Benadryl. As his symptoms progressed, he began having what he calls “hiccups,” the muscle spasms in his throat and chest.
His father said he feared it was anaphylactic shock and took him to the hospital each time, where he was treated with a lidocaine inhaler, Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam), which all stopped being effective after one or two uses. He was also given Dilaudid (hydromorphome), which his father said gets him “too high.”
At one point he was taking 17 different medications twice a day (34 pills a day), his father said.
He was also averaging three emergency room visits a week, with a high of nine visits one week.
No one knew what it was, or how to treat it, and there aren’t enough people with it to really have much data about it, his dad said.
“Dad thought it was just I was trying to get out of school, just trying to get home,” Chaz said. “So he put a rule on me, that every time I came home from school, I was grounded for the rest of the day, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go outside.”
Chaz said that the because the doctors kept saying it was just an attempt to get high his parents took him to Turning Point Drug Rehabilitation Center, and had Chaz take a surprise urinalysis that ended up coming back clear.
“He’s not a drug addict,” Shan said. ”We got that so we could show the school, and doctors at the ER.”
He said they were at a children’s hospital in Denver, where Chaz was administered several tests: CT scan, MRI, spinal tap, EKG, EEG and more.
“Every time they were coming back with test going ‘it’s clear. There’s nothing. We can’t find anything wrong with him,’ I’m going, ‘Yay,’” he says with a half smile and a sigh.
“And you’re going, ‘Yay. Can we have an answer, please,’” Janice Moore, Chaz’s mother said.
His parents said that while they were still looking for reasons for Chaz to lie about his symptoms. “What is going on in school that is making him this upset that it’s causing this to happen,” his mom asked. “What’s going on in school,” his dad said he wanted to know. “Is somebody picking on you? (Is it) Girls?”
Finally, one attack lead to them getting a diagnosis of Bilateral Diaphragmatic and Axial myoclonus. Once Chaz was diagnosed, he underwent more treatments, but was advised to take marijuana. Four months after it was first recommended by a doctor, his parents decided that it was the best course of action.
“Choosing to put him on medical marijuana was really a hard one for us,” Janice said. “We’d watched him go through the Valium, the morphine, the Xanax, Ativan, Dilaudid, and there were six or seven other things that they tried, too, just to get these spasms to stop, these seizures to stop, and he was so high, and he was so messed up, and my husband and I, being recovering addicts, it’s scary when they’re putting him on all this.”