Doctors are prescribing medical marijuana to children, and some parents say it has changed their lives. Currently, 18 states in the US allow for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In 17 states, it is prescribed to children.
States that allow children to be prescribed marijuana usually require approval by a pediatrician and a psychiatrist. These laws are currently being debated as some parents complain about the cost of multiple office visits.
Children who are prescribed medical marijuana are often being treated for conditions that produce seizures. As reported by CNBC, Heather Jackson states that medical marijuana has changed the quality of her son’s life.
Zaki Jackson has suffered with a serious form of epilepsy for more than 10 years. He was diagnosed when he was six months old.
The condition was debilitating, often causing hundreds of seizures every day. Zaki was prescribed 17 different medications and nothing worked. Having run out of options, Zaki’s doctor prescribed him medical marijuana.
Zaki’s parents were apprehensive, but consented to the treatment. The results were amazing. Heather states that her son has not had a seizure in eight months.
Medical marijuana for children like Zaki is usually taken in syrup or pill form. The plants are often modified to lower levels of THC and increase CBD. Unlike THC, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect.
As reported by NJ Spotlight, Jennie Stormes’ son has suffered with a seizure disorder for 14 years. Her son has tried numerous medications and treatments, including surgery on his brain. Nothing helped.
Stormes credits medical marijuana with reducing the frequency and intensity of her son’s seizures when nothing else would.
Despite the success stories, critics are skeptical. Fran Gallagher of the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that little is known about the long-term effects of marijuana use by children:
“There’s very little data on the use of medical marijuana in children … Therefore, you want to have the very best pediatric expertise.”
Medical marijuana for children will likely remain a controversial issue. However, for some children and their parents, the benefits of the treatment far outweigh any stigma or possible side-effects.
[Image via deviantArt]