Over the last five years there have been numerous media reports about the anecdotal use of cannabis to help autistic children. Two brave women, one on the east coast the other the west, have been at the forefront of this 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 writings, Mieko Perez Hester and her son had a similarly positive experience with treating his autism in California. Mieko, soon after going public about their experience, was invited onto ABC’s Good Morning America.
The reply from parents around the country to these charter members of the NORML Women Alliance experience as parents using cannabis as a therapy for their autistic children has been overwhelming and inspired the need to perform proper scientific research to possibly develop cannabinoid-based treatments for autism in both children and adults.
To help accomplish this Mieko established The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A), which is asking the NORML community of hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers and patients to help with a scientific survey today.
The NORML community has joined UF4A in this remarkable journey and fight, and has offered to help solicit feedback through the survey.
Target: Persons on the autism spectrum currently using or interested in using cannabis as a safe and effective medication to treat autism.
With more than 1 in 88 children affected, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. Currently, there is no medical detection or cure for autism; however, there are pharmaceutical and therapeutic treatments that have proven to be effective in treating the condition. Among the safest and most remarkable is the therapeutic use of medical cannabis.
Amidst a highly controversial setting, one California mother is sharing her autistic son’s triumphant and life-saving journey with the world. Single mother of three, Mieko Hester Perez was watching her young son, Joey, succumb to various combinations of 13 different prescription drugs that ravaged his body and internal organs. Joey weighed only 46 pounds, and was in a battle for his life.
Read more: www.uf4a.org
In 2009, The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A) was formed. UF4A is lighting a path in hopes that others may benefit from alternative therapies that may be available to other families on the Autism Spectrum. Mieko helped create a survey to help solidify and amplify her results and the level of help the Foundation can provide.
At UF4A, we believe providing the most accurate information to medical professionals for research purposes will pave the way for clinical trials for unconventional treatments.
We seek to solidify and further the fundamental understanding we have in regards to the effectiveness of cannabis alleviating symptoms along the Autism Spectrum. The information collected in the survey will be used to further guide families, new patients, doctors and lawmakers in making informed and proper decisions for themselves and our community.
If this survey applicable to you or a loved one, we invite you or them to fill out the form UF4A Treatment of Persons on the Spectrum with Cannabis. To fill out the survey, click here.
Mother’s Day: How the Drug War Hurts Families
NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and other Reform Organizations Team Up for: “Cops & Moms Week of Action”
Washington DC – Mothers from around the country will join with law enforcement and students at the National Press Club on May 2nd in honor of Mother’s Day. The press conference will launch a new coalition of national organizations that will represent mothers, police and students that seek to finally end the disastrous drug war. The NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Student for Sensible Drug Policy and others will share powerful stories of losing loved ones to the criminal justice system, and the social repercussions of prohibition. The coalition will highlight a series of activities around the country timed to Mother’s Day.
Sabrina Fendrick, Coordinator for the NORML Women’s Alliance gave the following statement:
“‘Mother’s Day’ was derived out of an intensely political effort to organize women on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line against the Civil War. The reason mothers were made the vehicle was because they were the ones whose children were dying in that war. Women were also largely responsible for ending alcohol prohibition. This is more than just a ‘greeting-card holiday,’ this is the beginning of an institutional change in our society. The government’s war on drugs is unacceptable. For our children’s sake, the concerned mothers of the world are being called on to demand the implementation of a rational, responsible, reality-based drug and marijuana policy.”
Leaders of the campaign who will be speaking at the press conference include former Maryland narcotics cop and Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Neill Franklin; Vice-Chair of the NORML Women’s Alliance and proud mother, Diane Fornbacher; Aaron Houston, Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Kathie Kane-Willis a Chicago social worker whose son died from an overdose two years ago; Joy Strickland, CEO of Mothers Against Teen Violence, Nina Graves (Delaware), a mother and former assistant chief of police and others. Moms United to End the Drug War will also be unveiling a “Moms Bill of Rights.”
What: Mother’s Day press conference announcing coalition between moms, cops and students against the war on drugs. Followed by a nationwide “Cops & Moms Week of Action”.
When: May 2, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Where: National Press Club – Washington, D.C.
Who: NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Moms United to End the Drug War, and the Drug Policy Alliance.
“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history” -Gandhi
Patricia Spottedcrow, a mother and first time offender from Oklahoma, was originally sentenced to 12 years behind bars for selling $30 worth of marijuana. For months, the NORML Women’s Alliance, and other organizations have been bringing attention to one of the most egregious cases of the war on drugs in recent history. After several outreach campaigns to local law enforcement and elected officials, and especially a strong grassroots effort spearheading my outraged mothers and reformers alike, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board have recommended early parole for Spottedcrow. While this is a small victory in the battle against marijuana prohibition, it is significant in showing that grassroots efforts trult can make a significant difference in the lives of those adversely impacted by the government’s war on drugs.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Grassroots support may evolve into early parole for a Kingfisher mother who was handed a strict prison sentence for a first-time offense of selling $31 worth of marijuana.
After her story was published in the Tulsa World’s series on Women in Prison in 2011, a groundswell of support emerged. In October, a Kingfisher County judge reduced her sentence by four years.
Spottedcrow’s advocates expressed concern for possible racial bias, disparate sentences for drug crimes, Oklahoma’s No. 1 female incarceration rate per capita and the effects on children growing up with incarcerated parents.
Because children were in Spottedcrow’s home when she was arrested, a charge of possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor was added. Her mother, Delita Starr, was also charged with the crime but was given a 30-year suspended sentence so she could care for Spottedcrow’s four children while their mother was incarcerated.
Board member Marc Dreyer, senior pastor at Tulsa’s Memorial Baptist Church, was instrumental in getting Spottedcrow’s case early consideration.
He said he requested to meet Spottedcrow while visiting Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft a few months ago, after reading about her case in the Tulsa World.
“Based on quantity of drugs involved and the desperation of her situation at the time, it was my view that she ought to have consideration by the board for parole, as there were some extenuating circumstances,” Dreyer said. He requested that her case be moved to the board’s April hearing.
Click here for more information.
The NORML Women’s Alliance would like to thank everyone who took the time to make their voice heard against this injustice. Together, we will prevail. Support the NORML Women’s Alliance with a donation by clicking the link below:
Yet Another Way Drug Testing Fails: Baby Products Linked To False Positive Drug Test Results In NewbornsApril 10, 2012
[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from next week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.]
Commercially available baby soaps and other wash products that are commonly used with newborns may yield false positive results for THC in immunoassay drug screens, according to a just published study in the journal Clinical Biochemistry.
Investigators at the University of North Carolina, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, assessed the impact of various baby wash products on drug-free urine samples after a number of false positive cannabinoid screening results were suspected at their hospital.
Researchers reported: “Mixtures of drug-free urine with various commercial products and materials that commonly contact newborns in our nursery were prepared and tested using the immunoassay screening methods in our laboratory. … Addition of Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to drug-free urine produced a dose dependent measureable response in the THC immunoassay. Addition of other commercially available baby soaps gave similar results, and subsequent testing identified specific chemical surfactants that reacted with the THC immunoassay.”
They concluded: “We have identified commonly used soap and wash products used for newborn and infant care as potential causes of false positive THC screening results. Such results in this population can lead to involvement by social services or false child abuse allegations. Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions.”
Read the abstract of the study, “Unexpected interference of baby wash products with a cannabinoid (THC) immunoassay,” here.