AUSTIN, Texas – Julia Patterson is the youngest registered lobbyist in the state of Texas, and wants to advocate for young adults’ voices to be heard when it comes to medical marijuana use.

The night of April 15, 2008 transformed Julia’s life – when she was put on a ventilator – and having her first major seizure, she was later diagnosed with epilepsy.

“I had 200 seizures a day. Each one lasting 15 to 30 seconds. So as you can imagine, I lost out on a lot of life and I really struggled. But in February of 2018, I was first prescribed CBD oil. And within just two months, I was completely seizure free,” Julia says.

Julia is now an epilepsy survivor and patient of medical marijuana for over three years. She now serves as the youngest lobbyist in Texas for the 2021 Legislative Session.

“After the 2019 Legislative Session, I’ve found my dream job. I wanted to help others, and become that voice for people who are struggling. For people with disabilities. So I did some research, and I realized that my dream job was to be a lobbyist for people with disabilities,” says Patterson.

But State Senator Brian Birdwell has said he’s worried that expanding medical marijuana would lead to more recreational use.

“First and foremost, I am a patient with epilepsy. I am not advocating for recreational use. I just want others to have the same opportunities to be independent that I afforded through the compassionate use program,” says Patterson.

Julia says her goal is for patients that can benefit from using marijuana medically can have adequate access to it.

Patterson says she feels very blessed to have this opportunity to be the voice for people with disabilities.