An overview of Alex:
- Alex is our son, born in 2001.
- Alex was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis when he was six weeks old.
- He has a history of seizures, autism, and self-injurious behaviors.
- After his fifth birthday, his self-injury went from moderate to extreme, and by 2009 he would regularly beat himself bloody.
- In early 2010, we tried medical marijuana for him.
- It was more effective than any other medication (and we tried MANY others: zolaft, risperdal, ativan, valium, naltrexone, and more), and showed great promise – see his before and after videos.
- But we didn’t know how to consistently get him to take it
- We didn’t know how to measure out a dose
- We didn’t even how to get a steady supply
- Ultimately, we failed.
- Alex now lives away from home in a state-contracted facility.
- While they can give Alex any medication a doctor prescribes, they won’t give him marijuana.
- Since he left our care, he’s been on Haldol, Ativan, Valium, and at least one medication that could kill him (Amitriptyline) if the dose was just a bit too high.
Cannabis prohibition took away Alex’s safest and most effective option by denying us knowledge of how to give it.
To put this in terms that may be easier to understand, imagine you need a painkiller for your child.
- On the shelf, you see Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen.
- None of the products has any directions – they just say, “Good luck!”
- You know from research that each product acts differently, but you don’t quite know what those differences are
- You also know from research that dosing for Tylenol isn’t going to be the same as dosing for Ibuprofen, and so forth. But you don’t have anywhere to turn for suggested dosage for any of the products.
- Nobody you’ve ever met has given any painkiller to a child, and can’t offer you help
- Your child can’t tell you if he feels better
Which do you choose? How much do you give? At this point, is it even a good idea to try out these unknown medications?
This is why prohibition hurts children – we do not have the information we need to properly administer medical marijuana. We know it’s safe (an overdose results in sleep, unlike “safe” products like Tylenol, which can kill). We know it’s been effective on multiple occasions. But we don’t know the right form, the right strain, or the right dosage to get consistent results.
Marijuana is controversial because its long-term effects on a child are believed to be unknown, and possibly risky.
Alex’s other medications are exactly the same – nobody has data for how long-term use of Risperdal affects a growing child! And when “death” can be listed as a possibility for some of his legal drugs, it’s hard to believe anybody can claim marijuana shouldn’t be an option.