Maria Mills Greenfield
Imagine watching your adult child suffer from a debilitating handicap. Imagine having to treat that child with handfuls of dangerous pharmaceuticals. Then, imagine researching and realizing that there was a safer, non-addictive, non-lethal treatment that has been documented to provide dramatic results in EVERY case where it has been used. Then imagine realizing that this safe, and indeed life-saving medicine is illegal……. in the state you live in. These are the shoes I walk in every day. This is the dilemma I face. I had to make a critical decision. I choose to obey the law and fight to change it.
My son has autism. According to the CDC as of their 2006 study, 1 in 110 children in the US are on the Autism Spectrum. In 2002 that rate was 1 in 150. By 2011 it will be greater than 1 in 80. It is highly debated what causes autism, and can have a broad range of debilitating symptoms. In my son’s case, it affects his ability to speak and communicate. His motor skills and coordination are also affected. He weighs 250 lbs, is 22 years old and is often violent and aggressive. He has severe OCD and ADD. He has been hauled away in handcuffs, only to be pumped full of more pharmaceuticals to control the outbursts. The pharmaceuticals do work to an extent, but at a detrimental cost to his physical health. He must undergo blood testing about 4 times a year to check organ functions, etc. It is harrowing and unnecessary.
Cannabis has been shown to have dramatically profound positive effects on children and adults with autism, ADHD and related disorders. At least one child was given only 4 months to live when his mother began him on cannabis therapy and saved his life over a year ago. (WWW.UFA.ORG) The only problem is that cannabis is marijuana, and illegal in all but 15 states and the District of Columbia.
OK, so, you and I know that it’s easy enough to ‘score’ some weed on the street, but that’s not what I’m looking for. My son deserves a consistient, quality medicine that I have a guaranteed supply of…. and it needs to be legal. I will NOT risk my son’s freedom by treating him with less than medical grade cannabis purchased off the streets illegally. Besides, he receives Government assistance and can be drug tested at any time. Jail would be worse for him than the pharmaceuticals, and if I were to be arrested, who would take care of him? No, unfortunately, in our situation, legal is the ONLY way.
How bittersweet it is to see kids getting better, improving and enjoying a higher quality of life while I watch my son age and suffer. It just isn’t fair. I’m not some “stoner-chick” who wants to get my son “high”. I am an educated mother who wants the very best for her son. The strong, heavy doses of pharmaceuticals he takes now often shrouds him in a zombie-like state. That’s not living, folks. THAT’S me drugging my son……legally. There’s a better way. I have evidence that leads me to believe that I can REPLACE the pharmaceuticals my son is addicted to with medical marijuana. Cannabis edibles or tinctures could literally add years to my son’s life. It will take parents and patients standing up and DEMANDING our right to safe, legal medicine. I won’t stop until I quit breathing……or we win.
Maria P. Greenfield