Marijuana

Meet the Boninfantes, Who Moved to CO to Get MMJ Treatment for son Blake


Back in 2013, we introduced you to Paige Figi, whose daughter, Charlotte Figi, suffers from a rare, seizure-causing ailment that responded positively to medical marijuana treatment — specifically high-CBD infused olive oil that Charlotte takes orally.

Charlotte's progress helped change CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta's mind about the efficacy of MMJ — and in the wake of a Gupta-hosted program featuring the Figis, many families from across the country moved to Colorado for access to medical marijuana for their kids, many of whom are plagued by seizures, too.

The phenomenon brought additional attention to Charlotte's Web, a non-psychoactive strain named for Paige's daughter, and caused Colorado's Stanley brothers to become one of Colorado's biggest marijuana success stories, as we reported in a December 2014 feature article.

Such tales have slowly slipped from the headlines since then, but they're still happening — and Nicky, Sara and Blake Boninfante are living proof.


As revealed in a detailed report from the York Dispatch, Blake, who's twelve, has been diagnosed with "uncontrolled myoclonic epilepsy," Sara tells the paper. "He's also on the spectrum of autism and he's pretty much nonverbal.... What Blake has to go through is horrible."

Blake's condition causes seizures, and while most of them only last for a second or two, there are an astonishing number of them — usually at least 100 per day and sometimes as many as 500.

In an attempt to improve Blake's situation, Sara and Nicky (crew chief for the Kalitta Motor Sports, a drag-racing team) began giving Blake CBD oil starting in February of this year, and within six weeks, his seizures had been reduced by about 40 percent.

This success convinced the Boninfantes that Blake needed to have the widest range of MMJ treatments available to him. Hence, their move to Longmont a couple of months back.

Since then, Blake has qualified for a medical marijuana card and he's added the cannabis compound THCA to his regimen. There's been no miracle cure, but the Boninfantes believe their son's quality of life has improved since they began using MMJ, and they're hopeful his progress will continue.

To read the entire York Dispatch piece, click here — and look below to see a video in which the Boninfantes share their experiences.


Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts