Many conservative Christians are asking for permission to give marijuana to their autistic children.
Sonly parents of autistic children know the suffering caused by this still largely unrecognized disorder. Some children are sometimes subject to anxiety, or to explosions of violence which can endanger the child and those around him. In the United States, parents consider that they have nothing more to lose, and are now turning to the use of medical cannabis. It is not a question of making the child smoke, but rather to administer it in the form of patches for example. Christian Amy Lou Fawell, co-founder and director of the MAMMA organization, Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, advocates for the legalization of the therapeutic use of marijuana for autistic children.
“We are the people least predisposed to take this step”
More than 3 years ago, desperate by her son's behavioral difficulties, Amy Lou made the choice to administer marijuana to him. Against all expectations, the boy's behavior improved. This is how the first MAMMA group was born in Austin, Texas.
“If God has done it, and our bodies need it, then the argument is Christian.”
There are such groups in 12 states in the United States. Parents are demanding the right to use cannabis to appease their children. Texas minister Matthew J. Cox said his staunch anti-marijuana bias was starting to soften.
“There may be a use of marijuana, a plan for it… I can't believe it would be any worse than the psychotropic drugs given to children on prescription today.”
Because his parents are indeed campaigning for a therapeutic use, and not for a recreational use. Cannabis use has been shown to cause irreversible damage to the brain, and may trigger onset or worsen major psychiatric disorders.
The use of marijuana is here weighed against the use of psychotropic drugs with devastating side effects.
The effectiveness of such treatments has not been verified according to a scientific protocol. Some parents use it empirically, and then take the risk of publicizing theInternet success stories. Orrin Devinsky, neurologist at New York University puts it this way:
“We as a political, medical and scientific society should move to obtain high quality scientific data. If it's safe and effective, people should be able to use and get their prescriptions. If it is dangerous or ineffective, no one should have access to it. "
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