Medical marijuana itself is controversial, but when you put children into the mix, it can get even more controversial. But what about kids with autism?
Some moms in Arizona have reported a powerful difference in their children with autism after legally using medical marijuana. Now, they’re ready to take their cause all the way to the state legislature. Their objective? For Arizona to pass a law that makes medical marijuana legal for children with autism.
As of this writing, Arizona has 186 minors legally accessing medical marijuana, however, only minors with cancer or epilepsy qualify for a medical marijuana card. These moms want to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions. Two moms, in particular, who have children with autism have been able to gain the necessary card because their child also has one of the two qualifying conditions or diseases.
Logan, Brandi’s son, has epilepsy and autism. She said that for many years her child would lash out due to his autism. This happened several times a day. Logan would slam his head against hard objects and bite his mother. When Logan’s parents put him on medical marijuana for his epilepsy to control seizures, they got a lot more than they expected. Not only did the seizures abate, but Logan became a happier, calmer child overall. Another mom, Erica Smith, had a similar experience. Her son’s behavior changed once he began using medical marijuana.
Unfortunately, there are moms with autistic children in Arizona who really want to try medical marijuana but are barred by law from doing so. According to one mom, Cherie Higgins, “People seem to be having success with medical marijuana so it is something we would like to try.”
These brave moms gave their interview to local news station ABC15, where they said they’ve tried many prescription drugs to offset the behavior issues caused by autism. However, many of these drugs have side effects that make their children unable to function in society. On the other hand, it has been observed that medical marijuana produces focused and alert behavior in children with autism.
The children aren’t smoking marijuana. Instead, it is given to them in the form of an extract or paste, and you only need a very small amount to get all the benefits of one dose.
For mother’s in Arizona, like Higgins, giving their autistic children medical marijuana could result in felony charges. In fact, in 2014, a child named Zander Welton was suffering from a rare disease called Cortical Dysplasia. To help ease his suffering, mom and dad gave him medical marijuana extracts. The result? According to the Weltons, there was a complete change in Zander’s personality. He was happier and more alert. Unfortunately, the Welder’s were forced to stop giving the extracts to Zander after being threatened with felony drug charges by Maricopa County prosecutor Bill Montgomery. Zander died at age 7.
Today, the group Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMAS) report that fourteen states have now added autism to their list of qualifying conditions. They want to make Arizona the next state. House Bill 2049 is being introduced to make this happen. However, skeptics of medical marijuana caution parents against using this substance due to the lack of research on the long-term effects of medical marijuana use in children.