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Medical Marijuana: Why I Give My 9-Year Old Pot

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director October 12, 2009

    In the recent wake of Stiletto Stoners, comes part two of Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s brave and revealing account of how medical cannabis helps her autistic 9-year old son. Read part one here.

    090512_xx_Marie Lee

    Marie and her son J. live in Rhode Island, a state where the legislators have both the chutzpah and foresight to have overridden two vetoes from the Governor (and pressure from the federal government anti-drug officials and law enforcement) in the last 24 moths to create the legal and public health framework necessary for Ms. Young and her physician to be able to effectively and safely treat J. with cannabis-oil cookies.

    091005_marielee_AThis essay, and others by women for whom cannabis plays an important role in their lives, are becoming more and more common in the mainstream media to the point where a forum or advisory body about ‘women and cannabis’ is certainly warranted.

    NORML wants to convene such a confab in 2010 and seeks input from cannabis consumers and the general public about what kind of topics should be discussed and who should the speakers be. Please send your suggestions and feedback to: conference@norml.org

    This essay was originally published at Doublex.com.

    72 Responses to “Medical Marijuana: Why I Give My 9-Year Old Pot”

    1. Randee says:

      When I had surgery, I was prescribed a rather harsh pain reliever. It did help with the pain, but I was also extremely sick because of it. I was also angry and found that I had no appetite. I lost 10 pounds over the course of 10 days. I soon threw away the pain medication and started to administer healthy portions of cannabis to myself. The cannabis soothed my throat and help me regain an appetite. I believe that this plant is a miracle. I was happy to read such an enlightening article. It saddens me that this plant has such a high potential for medical use, but is not being used fully. What is stopping the government?!

    2. Jacob says:

      I am glad to see that thanks to the sweet leaf this child is going to be given a new life. I had bad ADD as a child and when I started using the herb my grades went from F’s and D’s to B’s and A’s. If the government would get off their asses and see what this leaf can do, I think their would be a lot less causes of death from sickness and disease, think about how many deaths happen each year from them. We have a NATURAL cure, to cure the mind body and soul. Instead of prescribing pills full of toxins and acids, why don’t you prescribe a PLANT?! If the prescribed medical use of marijuana is not legal to the public of the United States by 2010, I have no idea what this nation is doing.

    3. Renee says:

      The problem is that he is only 9. My brother in law who is living with my husband and I is 23. Please, please, please be aware that anything you give your child now can come with problems he may develop later in life. My brother in law has been smoking marijuana for a long time now which his parents allowed for the same reason. However, while it helps his normal obsessive compulsive behavior and anxiety it cause him to be less social with his family, more aggressive and he smokes obsessively. He will buy a bag of weed, smoke it in one night so that he can scrape the pipe and smoke the resin. He has a full time job, but spends most of it on marijuana. Because he is an adult, he no longer has to listen to reason. He had no friends before, but the friends he has now are drug addicts and he has admitted to using more than just marijuana. Please, although marijuana sounds like the answer, it can backfire when your child becomes old enough to make decisions on his own. Children with disabilities are prime candidates for using marijuana as a “gateway” drug. Yes, I hate those commercials and adds too, but there is a reality to it. Please understand that I am all for the legalization of marijuana, but like all drugs it affects everyone differently, especially those with ASP.

    4. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    5. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    6. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    7. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    8. C Opulski says:

      While there is not much scientific evidence, the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of many of the many benefits of marijuana use. As many of these families report, there are far fewer adverse effects of a dried plant that’s been used by humans for centuries. Some of the adverse affects include the potential for abuse. Just because some ppl will become abusers in the future is no reason to nay say it’s good effects, or deny ppl that will never abuse the marijuana a chance to benefit from it. That is another issue, not the only issue.
      I know of ppl that have been using medication for years and when they no longer need it stop. The need for a medication to alleviate a terrible condition or a symptom of condition, is an acceptable risk for giving the medication. I believe much of the concern from the public, is based on the propaganda America has been dishing out over “the war on drugs”, with billions wasted in it’s combat. The War is just an ax to grind by law and order types, not the wishes of it’s ppl.
      There has to be a middle road, and it behooves our nation to be a leader in this regard. Let’s admit the war is a waste, as it relates to this mystical plant. It is not, no way a schedule 1 narcotic, worse than cocaine.
      Carol

    9. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    10. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    11. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    12. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    13. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by […]

    14. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    15. […] effort to help scientifically explain why cannabis appears to be so helpful. Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her experience in Rhode Island, a state with medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon after, inspired by Marie’s […]

    16. Anonymous says:

      70 years old and it all started when I became Ill 35 year’s ago after I talk to my Doctor and asked him how do I get off these drug’s that your giving me ”and he told me have you ever tried cannabis and so I did the same day and so i was off all prescription drug’s I thought and still do that it was a medical wonder drug that work’s for so many people.I have much more to say about this wonder medicine that we call a drug.

    17. Anonymous says:

      I have Asperger’s Disorder which is part of the autistic spectrum. I use marijuana for a variety of things such as migraine headaches, pain management, muscle spasms etc. But I find that by far it’s greatest use to me in particular is in regards to the chronic general and social anxiety, depression, panic episodes, general tension that plagues me, reducing the affect of sensory sensitivities on my emotional state, and in small doses concentration. I have had several very bad reactions to medications that are general used to treat anxiety and related disorders to the point where I am uncomfortable with the idea of taking any pharmaceutical designed to treat anything in those areas. I find that in addition marijuana also stops meltdowns, and greatly mitigates the tendency aspies have to catastrophicize emotions. The latter of which is so sever that, that in conjunction with increased anxiety, tension, and mood swings when I am pre-menstral I sometimes become seriously suicidal. But weed stops all of that and allows me to regain control of my self. My point is I do have specific personal evidence that it can be very helpful to at least some of us with ASD disorders.

      I only have 2 possible issues with the age of the child.

      The first is the concern that it may prevent some part of his brain from developing normal as his body and neural pathways are still forming. However what is known about the way autistics retain and internalize emotional memory of traumatic events and considering how traumatic meltdowns and a seemingly foreign and hostile world can be to someone who is not able to experience and deal with those situations in a positive way it is possible that the cumulative impact of all those unnecessarily horrific experiences would have an impact on his life that would be far worse than the possible lack of development of some neural pathways. It is also possible that it could have the effect of allowing those pathways to develop more normally than otherwise. Clearly more research is desperately in regards to the possible developmental impact on those that are not yet physically mature so that parents/guardians can make informed decisions in that regard.

      The second possible issue is with the legal system.

      I am pursuing medical marijuana for minor medical issues since it is not legal here in Michigan for mental uses. The reason being that I do realize that even with moderate aspergers (GAF – 55) jail alone even if it never got to prison would be a disastrous environment for me. I am sure I would be biting myself, banging my head, and scream crying for hours on end until they placed me in a mental institution for psychiatric evaluation. Which by the way is also usually detrimental to people with aspergers, and never good as per a comment Tony Attwood had made on the subject in an interview he conducted for autismhangout. As if all that were not bad enough being busted would also cause me to loose my SS, medicaid, and as I am in government housing that as well.

      That being said I find it so useful with NO discernible side effects that even though the thought of what would happen to me as a result of my condition if I were to be caught is absolutely terrifying I feel I must take the risk for the sake of my current sanity.

      As for being a gateway drug I do not think that is likely in this instance because the child is not hanging out with druggies, and since it is being given orally, and he is neither smoking it himself nor hanging out with those who do. The most likely addiction he is may form as a result would be to cookies.

    18. […] 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis […]

    19. […] 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis […]

    20. […] 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis […]

    21. […] 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis […]

    22. […] 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis […]

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