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DENVER -- A Colorado teen who became the face of the fight to allow medical marijuana in schools has passed away. Jack Splitt, 15, died suddenly on Wednesday.
His smile is credited with changing the hearts and minds of state lawmakers. Jack had a powerful story. He had quadriplegic cerebral palsy and dystonia. His medical conditions caused debilitating muscle spasms but he found relief through medical marijuana.
His mother, Stacey Linn, said her son just started 10th grade at Wheat Ridge High School. He was in class on Tuesday but stayed home Wednesday because he wasn't feeling well.
Jack's Law requires school districts to establish policy allowing students to have access to medical marijuana on school grounds.
"Hundreds of people have been contacting me on Facebook, sending me messages. It's evidence he touched so many lives," said Linn.
She said medical marijuana allowed Jack to feel better, go to school and be more engaged.
"Jack will be an inspiration for that, his light we will hold in each and every one of us, in our hearts and people that think that one person can’t make a difference, that’s just not true, Jack made a difference," said Teri Robnett, executive director of the Cannabis Patients Alliance.
Representative Jonathan Singer sponsored the bill and worked closely with Jack's family. He said Jack leaves behind a lasting legacy.
"His name is in Colorado law now and behind his name is the insurance that kids will never have to choose between their medication and education," said Rep. Singer.
Linn said there's still a lot of work to be done in her son's name and she will continue to work with school districts to implement policy. She also wants people to know an organization inspired by Jack called CannAbility Foundation will continue to provide resources for other families.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jack's family with funeral expenses.
Jack's family released the following statement:
It is with great sadness that the family of 15-year-old Jack Splitt announced his sudden passing on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Jack was a bright, warm, vivacious spirit. He dealt with the challenges of severe cerebral palsy and severe dystonia with grace, a sense of humor and an infectious smile. Jack inspired all who knew him and he was the face of multiple Colorado legislative initiatives to allow medically fragile children to have safe access to cannabis medicine, particularly in schools. He is also the inspiration behind CannAbility Foundation, which was established to provide resources to families with sick children whose conditions are alleviated by whole plant cannabis medicine. He will be warmly remembered for his charming smile, his sense of humor, and his thirst for learning.