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Using Marijuana to Treat Autism - Sorry if all ready posted.

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 11:41 AM
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A Sacramento family is using a controversial way to control their son's autism: giving him small amounts of hash.

The family tried every kind of pharmaceutical medication to treat the child's condition but nothing worked.

The meds made him gain over 20 lbs and his violent episodes began escalating even more. A year ago the family started giving him a small amount of hash each morning and now the child is calm and non-violent yet more functional.

California's proposition 215 - the "compassionate use act" - was passed in California a decade ago, allowing seriously ill patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana legally.

But what about for children? We found one family with a truly remarkable tale to tell.

From age two until eight, Sam's disorder made him violent and aggressive. His parents, Steve and Angela, were truly living a nightmare.

"He got to the point where he was hurting other children, when he was in school, or in public places -- we'd be in line at the store, and he'd just bolt and hit another child in the face without any warning at all," says his mother. "One time he pulled down a TV, he knocked over furniture, I had to put him in a hold for a whole hour, his body was just spasming, I lay there crying, holding him."

"He'd be looking for something to break. He had to let out this aggressiveness, so he'd just walk around looking to break/smash something, it was horrible."

Sam's parents worked with expert doctors, who recommended a succession of conventional prescription medications - like Risperdal and a host of others. But Sam gained 20 pounds and became even harder to handle.

"His behavior was getting worse -- and we were scared -- he was getting bigger, stronger, now that he was 20 pounds heavier from Risperdal."

"It was the saddest thing - the child we'd grown to love was gone. When you talked to him, looked at him, he'd just disappeared."

Finally, at their wit's end - and faced with the very real prospect of needing to institutionalize their son --sam's parents decided to try something unconventional and controversial. last year they began treating Sam with medical marijuana.

"If you think about it, it's the perfect drug for that kind of behavior, very calming."

Steve and Angela got a recommendation from a medical cannabis doctor. They told Sam's pediatrician about their plan and Steve grew Sam's new medicine in their backyard.

Steve took out his tomato plants, to grow and then harvest the cannabis.

From the marijuana flowers he could make a concentrated form - what people refer to as 'hash.'

Steve softens the cannabis with heat, then takes what appears to be just a speck of pot - Sam's 'dose' for the day. And from the very start, the cannabis was a godsend for Sam's family.

"The first time we did it, we wanted to see if it would work at all - it was an amazing experience, I'll never forget it, as we watched what happened, it was like He's back!" says Sam's dad. "It was like all this anguish, pent-up rage and aggressiveness went away -- it just calmed him down."

Within roughly 20 minutes, the effects were clear. where earlier sam had been animated and antsy, after eating his speck of hash sam became calm, relaxed, and social.

"As a mother, what do you say to those who'd say, you're getting your son stoned every day? ... At first I was very concerned - but the more I share the story with friends, co-workers, the more comfortable I am. It saved our lives, and I think about what it's done for our son."

Could Sam's story help others? Respected LA-area pediatrician Christopher Tolcher says we don't know enough about cannabis for kids.

"I think for all the parents out there whose children may have autism, I think the message here is that this is intriguing information that needs more research before we can confidently say that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for autism complications," says Tolcher.

But for this Calfornia family, medical marijuana has literally been an answer to their prayers and a homecoming for their son.

"It was a medication with the result we'd been hoping for for so long. (PAN) And he was happy again, smiling, laughing -- the boy we'd lost for so long, who we wondered if we'd ever see again."

"It just feels like I have more control to help my son -- we don't depend on doctors, who may have the best intentions, but they don't know what Sam needs... I wanna do what's best for my son. And I'll do whatever I can for him."

One important note: Sam's parents tell us they've followed the letter of the law regarding his medication. They've grown only the amount of marijuana that prop 215 allows. The medication is for Sam and no one else.

by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 11:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
greenie63
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Yes 100%. Funny you posted this, last night in my english class i came across an article in The New York Times that was very similar.  Here's the article.

October 20, 2009, 8:57 am

Medical Marijuana for Children

By LISA BELKIN

The announcement yesterday that the Obama administration would not prosecute the use of medical marijuana in states where it was legal seemed like a good time to revisit the story of J., a 9-year-old Rhode Island boy who is using pot under a doctor's supervision.

His mother, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, a professor at Brown University first told his story four months ago on Slate's Double X site, explaining why she was giving her autistic son homemade cookies she'd laced with medical marijuana. The boy had been in constant pain, the result of physical ailments the doctors could find, and possibly others that he could not explain. After trying a long list of mainstream and alternative treatments the family's doctor prescribed cannabis, which cancer patients use successfully to ease pain.

More recently Professor Less returned to DoubleX with an update on how things are going. In a word, "well."

She writes, in part:

...one day recently, he came home from school, and I noticed something really different: He had a whole shirt on.

Pre-pot, J. ate things that weren't food. There's a name for this: pica. (Pregnant women are known to pica on chalk and laundry starch.) J. chewed the collar of his T-shirts while stealthily deconstructing them from the bottom up, teasing apart and then swallowing the threads. By the time I picked him up from the bus stop after school, the front half of his shirt was gone. His pica become so uncontrollable we couldn't let him sleep with a pajama top (it would be gone by morning) or a pillow (ditto the case and the stuffing). An antique family quilt was reduced to fabric strips, and he even managed to eat holes in a fleece blanket - so much for his organic diet. I started dressing him only in organic cotton shirts, but we couldn't support the cost of a new one every day. The worst part was watching him scream in pain on the toilet, when what went in had to come out. I had nightmares about long threads knotting in digestive organs. (TMI? Welcome to our life!)

Almost immediately after we started the cannabis, the pica stopped. Just stopped. J. now sleeps with his organic wool-and-cotton, hypoallergenic, temptingly chewable comforter. He pulls it up to his chin at night and declares, "I'm cozy!"

Next, we started seeing changes in J.'s school reports. His curriculum is based on a therapy called Applied Behavioral Analysis, which involves, as the name implies, meticulous analysis of data. At one parent meeting in August (J. is on an extended school year), his teacher excitedly presented his June-July "aggression" chart. An aggression is defined as any attempt or instance of hitting, kicking, biting, or pinching another person. For the past year, he'd consistently had 30 to 50 aggressions in a school day, with a one-time high of 300. The charts for June through July, by contrast, showed he was actually having days - sometimes one after another - with zero aggressions.

chair.r13
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Yes. It's funny to me that people have a problem with cannabis (all natural) because it's a 'drug', but they don't mind pouring lab concocted chemicals into their kids. I don't have a problem with modern medicine, I'm just saying...

oceanus407
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:02 PM

 Wow. I think thats...very interesting. It makes sense though. Its amazing that he can eat a little tiny bit of hash and it calms him down. I like the fact that it is a natural way to help treat a serious problem. I don't know if it would be good for every one but for really severe cases I think it's a great idea.

Ha! Made you look!

Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM

No we choose to treat our Autistic child naturally by omitting unnatural substances from his world not adding to them. 

ETA: Incidentally I also treat myself for my disease the same way, it is working for both of us and has changed our quality of life!

oceanus407
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM

 Okay I just watched the video and I think it is great.

Ha! Made you look!

chair.r13
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I respect and applaud your commitment to the course you have chosen for you and your family. But how is cannabis unnatural? I'm really wondering, cuz based on the definition of natural...

Quoting Dzyre1115:

No we choose to treat our Autistic child naturally by omitting unnatural substances from his world not adding to them. 

ETA: Incidentally I also treat myself for my disease the same way, it is working for both of us and has changed our quality of life!


Trisha-Faye
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

cannabis is a medicinal plant.  not using it as such is foolish.  There is no legitimate medical reason for cannabis to be illegal for medicinal use.

The ONLY reason it was made illegal in the early 1900's was because of Hearst and DuPont.  Hemp Paper was cheaper then wood pulp paper.  Hearst owned millions of acres of timber and DuPont had a patent on a product for wood pulp paper.  They got DuPonts chief investors nephew appointed head of the FTA and then Hearst started a campaign to link *MARIJUANA* with mexicans raping white women, etc and got the public stirred up against MARIJUANA...the idiots didn't realize until after it was made illegal that MARIJUNA was Hemp..the same hemp they and their grandma used as a rhumetism, etc medication....

people need to read the information on hemp: http://lookingforbob.info/

William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division of Kimberly Clark owned vast acreage of timberlands. The Hearst Company supplied most paper products. Patty Hearst's grandfather, a destroyer of nature for his own personal profit, stood to lose billions because of hemp.

In 1937, Dupont patented the processes to make plastics from oil and coal. Dupont's Annual Report urged stockholders to invest in its new petrochemical division. Synthetics such as plastics, cellophane, celluloid, methanol, nylon, rayon, Dacron, etc., could now be made from oil. Natural hemp industrialization would have ruined over 80% of Dupont's business.

THE CONSPIRACY

Andrew Mellon became Hoover's Secretary of the Treasury and Dupont's primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. These men took an obscure Mexican slang word: 'marihuana' and pushed it into the consciousness of America.

MEDIA MANIPULATION

A media blitz of 'yellow journalism' raged in the late 1920s and 1930s. Hearst's newspapers ran stories emphasizing the horrors of marihuana. The menace of marihuana made headlines. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to loose morality.

Films like 'Reefer Madness' (1936), 'Marihuana: Assassin of Youth' (1935) and 'Marihuana: The Devil's Weed' (1936) were propaganda designed by these industrialists to create an enemy. Their purpose was to gain public support so that anti-marihuana laws could be passed.

Examine the following quotes from 'The Burning Question' aka REEFER MADNESS:

  • a violent narcotic.
  • acts of shocking violence.
  • incurable insanity.
  • soul-destroying effects.
  • under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an ax.
  • more vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs (heroin, cocaine) is the menace of marihuana!

Reefer Madness did not end with the usual 'the end.' The film concluded with these words plastered on the screen: TELL YOUR CHILDREN.

In the 1930s, people were very naive; even to the point of ignorance. The masses were like sheep waiting to be led by the few in power. They did not challenge authority. If the news was in print or on the radio, they believed it had to be true. They told their children and their children grew up to be the parents of the baby-boomers.

On April 14, 1937, the Prohibitive Marihuana Tax Law or the bill that outlawed hemp was directly brought to the House Ways and Means Committee. This committee is the only one that can introduce a bill to the House floor without it being debated by other committees. The Chairman of the Ways and Means, Robert Doughton, was a Dupont supporter. He insured that the bill would pass Congress.

Dr. James Woodward, a physician and attorney, testified too late on behalf of the American Medical Association. He told the committee that the reason the AMA had not denounced the Marihuana Tax Law sooner was that the Association had just discovered that marihuana was hemp.

Few people, at the time, realized that the deadly menace they had been reading about on Hearst's front pages was in fact passive hemp. The AMA understood cannabis to be a MEDICINE found in numerous healing products sold over the last hundred years.

In September of 1937, hemp became illegal. The most useful crop known became a drug and our planet has been suffering ever since.

Congress banned hemp because it was said to be the most violence-causing drug known. Anslinger, head of the Drug Commission for 31 years, promoted the idea that marihuana made users act extremely violent. In the 1950s, under the Communist threat of McCarthyism, Anslinger now said the exact opposite. Marijuana will pacify you so much that soldiers would not want to fight.

Mommyto2kids09
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

now everything is gonna be "treated" by marijuana...thanks but no thanks

gardenchic
by Gold Member on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

wow,,,,, NO!

Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on Dec. 1, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Because it can alter your state of mind, just because it grows from the ground does not mean it's a great idea. 

Quoting chair.r13:

I respect and applaud your commitment to the course you have chosen for you and your family. But how is cannabis unnatural? I'm really wondering, cuz based on the definition of natural...

Quoting Dzyre1115:

No we choose to treat our Autistic child naturally by omitting unnatural substances from his world not adding to them. 

ETA: Incidentally I also treat myself for my disease the same way, it is working for both of us and has changed our quality of life!

 


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