|Photo: Antoinel, Wikimedia Commons
|Could marijuana brownies be the key to treating autism?
Should parents be allowed to use medical marijuana to treat autistic children if they believe it is more effective than the chemicals offered by pharmaceutical corporations? More and more doctors, and members of the general public, are saying “Yes.”
After Mieko Hester-Perez appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America
this week, telling how she believes doctor-recommended medical marijuana brownies saved her son’s life, she received an outpouring of support
from TV viewers and commenters on ABC News’ website.
Mieko’s 10-year-old son, Joey, weighed only 46 pounds due to his unwillingness to eat. “You could see the bones in his chest,” she said. “He was going to die.”
Desperate to find something that could help her son, Hester-Perez did some research. “I found a doctor who actually had a protocol for medical marijuana in children diagnosed with autism,” she said.
“The marijuana balanced my son,” said Hester-Perez, who says she’s never used marijuana. “My son had self-injurious behaviors. He was extremely aggressive, he would run out of our house … he was a danger to himself and others.”
Just hours after she gave him his first pot brownie, Hester-Perez said she could see a big difference both in Joey’s appetite and in his demeanor. “Within hours, he requested foods we had never seen him eat before,” she said.
She says not only is Joey eating more, he’s communicating. “We’re seeing Joey come out!” Mieko told CBS News
. “He’s never made noises. … We didn’t even know he could make noise until the first batch of brownies.”
Hester-Perez said she now gives her son a marijuana brownie once every two or three days.
Most of the comments to the online version of the GMA story are supportive of the mother’s choice of herbal treatment for her son, the OC Weekly
Despite anecdotal evidence
, the treatment remains controversial due to marijuana’s unsavory reputation as an illicit drug. Echoes of Reefer Madness continue to reverberate through the collective consciousness more than 70 years after the herb was declared illegal in the United States, and marijuana’s federal classification as a Schedule I drug with no medicinal value make much-needed research very difficult to perform.