Chelsea Leyland is a British DJ and medical cannabis/epilepsy activist based in Brooklyn, New York.
Chelsea suffers from a type of epilepsy called ‘Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy’ (JME), which she has been battling since her early teens.
In 2016, Chelsea made the brave and life-changing decision to wean herself off her strong pharmaceutical anti-seizure medications and treat her epilepsy solely with medical cannabis.
Leyland has used her experiences and her platform to become a leading advocate for the destigmatization of both epilepsy and medical cannabis. Through her advocacy-led work, she has spoken on multiple medical cannabis panels, conducted informative talks, and has been a guest in educational podcasts to open up the conversation about this topic and the issues surrounding it.
Chelsea has previously sat in front of the camera, but she is now moving behind the lens to produce a deeply personal story and inform her audience about what is it to be epileptic in her up and coming documentary Separating The Strains.
This documentary will explore the medical cannabis landscape in both the UK, the US and will highlight Chelsea's fight to gain access to this treatment for her older sister, Tamsin. Tamsin has a more severe form of epilepsy, and cannot currently access medical cannabis in the UK.
This is an injustice Chelsea feels strongly and uniquely positioned to address, and she is fighting for all those without access, both in the UK and globally.
Her story and work has inspired a generation of epileptics and medical cannabis users.
One of Chelsea's main goals for this film is for the audience to leave with a greater understanding of the science behind cannabinoids in order to have a better-informed discussion and for patients to feel empowered to have a say in their treatment options. The other core aim is to destigmatize both epilepsy and cannabis, and to provide the viewers with the tools to conduct meaningful and impactful debates.