WESTMINSTER, CA — Mieko Hester Perez, along with Joey, held a press conference today to bring hope and awareness for the part of the medical marijuana community that is forgotten when cities decide to zone out safe access to medical marijuana, which was approved almost 15 years ago by the people of California. Now that cities are finally being pressed to write zoning laws so that the safest form of access is allowed, many cities are choosing to outright ban them.
The city of Westminster is still trying to decide what to do, and in the meantime have asked HOPE Wellness Collective to stop operating. Harmony On Planet Earth (HOPE) is the collective that helps provide The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A) with life-saving resources, including the funding for Joey’s aquatic therapy sessions.
Joey and Mieko’s attorney, Jeremy Joseph, explained that prior to medical marijuana he was malnourished and anorexic, due to the experiemental drugs previous doctors had prescribed in the nine years of treating autism and the symptoms related to autism, finally rendering his body organs useless due to the toxic levels in his system. Leaving Mieko no other option but to experiment with medical marijuana, Joey is no longer aggressive nor a threat to himself and others, he is now 98 pounds and recently said “mom” for the first time.
“We intend to hold the city to that obligation. We look forward to coming up with a sensible solution… for the patients of HOPE, and the qualified patients of the city of Westminster,” explains Mr. Joseph.
Joey’s doctor, Dr. Hedrick, provided a letter for the city of Westminster to consider, expressing the severity of their decision and the lives that will be affected should they force HOPE to close. She writes, “All of my patients who have gone to HOPE state that it is the most reliable, knowledgeable and upstanding dispensary… IF HOPE were to close, it would place my patients at harm.”
As Dr. Hedrick explains, “If Joey were unable to continue the medical marijuana treatment, his condition would deteriorate… placing his infant brother at risk. He would also very likely return to the state of starvation prior to the introduction of medical marijuana.”
HOPE’s attorney, Joshua Shelton, spoke on behalf of the collective. He mentioned Dr. Hedrick’s other patients who have come from UCI Medical Center and have a now home at HOPE Wellness Collective.
Another mother of an autistic boy also submitted a letter expressing the success they have found with medical marijuana treatment, and the ‘much needed service to the community’ HOPE provides, and asks the city to ‘keep it this way’ and Mieko calls HOPE ‘the collective of the future, for the children of today,’ adding, ‘walk a mile in our shoes and you’ll be looking for hope too.’