Medical marijuana, a popular treatment for ailments among adults, has a whole new demographic using the drug in Oregon: children.
Controversial to say the least, fathers, mothers and doctors don't all agree with the idea now. But will administering the drug to children ever become widely accepted?
It sounds kind of strange, but kids aren't sitting around smoking bongs, pipes or taking hits off doobies. They actually take it quite similarly to any other medicine, in pill form, or it's often baked into cookies or brownies.
Freckle-faced, Mykayla Comstock, diagnosed with leukemia, receives the drug in an oil capsule form or in snacks made with marijuana butter to treat the side effects of her chemotherapy.
Currently, 52 youngsters with parental and doctor's approvals and medical needs that warrant cannabis receive assistance under the umbrella of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).
Not only does OMMP serve 2,201 medical marijuana patients in the state, but also provides requested information from other states interested in using their program as a model.
As the youngest patient in OMMP, seven-year-old Mykayla said, "First you get hungry,then you get really funny, and then you get tired," according to the Oregonian.
Mykayla's mom, convinced the reason her daughter, who suffers from the most aggressive form of leukemia, went into remission within a month is due to the marijuana.
Mykayla's dad, who lives in North Dakota, is so concerned about the long-term effects to his daughter he reported his ex-wife and her boyfriend to police and children's services in August when visiting with his daughter and felt she was "stoned out of her mind." But he didn't get much help as Oregon's law, passed 14 years ago, allows parental control over their child's use of medical marijuana without a doctor monitoring them.
Parents treating their children's symptoms with marijuana isn't new. In 2009, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, a professor at Brown University, gave her 9-year-old autistic son homemade marijuana cookies to help his aggression and to keep him from eating his shirt (he had pica, a nutritional defiency that can lead to such bizarre appetites). The teachers reported better behavior, and her son came home with a whole shirt on after using marijuana, according to the New York Times.
While some doctors are completely against marijuana treatment in children, others encourage its use. Dr. Stephen Sallan, pediatric oncologist and professor at Harvard Medical school, says the drug is "relatively harmless."
In the 1970s, Sallan's research brought him to the conclusion that pot doesn't cure cancer, but it can help with chemo-induced vomiting and other conditions.
How do you feel about children being treated with marijuana?
From the comment section below:
You can follow Brave Mykayla's Inspiring Journey at: Brave Mykayla
This little girl is Amazingly Courageous! Let's show her some LOVE!
From Mykayla's FB page:
I personally know brave little Mykayla, she is my 7 year old daughters best friend. Her quality of life since medicating with Rick Simpson oil has drastically increased. She is able to eat and keep down enough food to keep her strength up, and the stress and nausea caused by the chemo is greatly alleviated.
I understand the misconception of true medical marijuana usage versus the recreational use that is prevalent in todays society, however the benefits of a natural, non chemical medication when then body is already bombarded by chemotherapy is astounding. And god forbid the poor child finds relief in something that isn't controlled by big pharma companies.
The truth is...cannabis has been vilified by big pharma companies, and government agencies who would loose massive revenue in sales and taxation if the populace had free access to medicine that they could grow themselves, so it is vilified, and campaigned against with misinformation and false propaganda.
Educate yourselves and do not be so quick to condemn a mother and her sick child because of your prejudiced, misinformed, and uneducated biases on alternate medication. The bottom line is this: Mykayla is healthier, happier, and more comfortable because of her mother's choices. They are a family that has gone through hell, and are fighting a terrible illness and winning! Mykala we love and support you, you are a very brave and special child.