Artist Photographs Pediatric Medical Marijuana Patients

in Culture

“Face of Cannabis” by Colorado-based artist and photographer Nichole Montanez is a touching and thought-provoking series of black-and-white images depicting children who have benefited from medical marijuana. Since launching the project over five years ago, Montanez has photographed 284 children and 11 adults, including five current NFL players and one former player, a senator, and two veterans. Beginning with about 80 images, “Face of Cannabis” now consists of 105 photographs — and counting.

The project started in 2013, inspired by Montanez’s niece Hailey (aka “Teapot”), who in 2008 was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy characterized by frequent, prolonged seizures as well as behavioral, developmental, and speech delays. After Teapot began to have seizures as an infant, Montanez became aware of Charlotte Figi, another Colorado-based youth with the same syndrome who was having success with CBD.

12-year-old Emily at her family home in Glendale, California. Emily suffers from Dravet Syndrome and had her first seizure at five months of age/ Nichole MontanezWhile working as a graphic artist and designer for The Gazette, Montanez photographed Figi in May of 2012 for an article on the subject of medical cannabis. Soon after it published in 2013, Sanjay Gupta‘s Weed documentary series began airing on CNN, and as a result, more families were moving to Colorado for access to medical cannabis. Soon, other states looking to pass similar legislation asked Montanez to photograph their children, too.

“Watching states one by one pass laws was a great thing to witness,” Montanez tells High Times. “But the greatest thing for me was being here at the center of the movement and having a front row seat to wellness. There is no cure and cannabis is not a miracle. But I have watched it ease the suffering over and over again. And that’s really what it’s all about. …

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Author: Tanja M. Laden / High Times

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