Residents in Michigan may submit medical conditions to LARA in order for the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel to review whether there is ample evidence that cannabis may have palliative relief in the treatment of that condition. It is the voter’s intent to protect those with debilitating medical conditions that may receive palliative relief from cannabis. When the panel is provided sufficient evidence it is their mandate to ensure that new medical conditions be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.
In 2012 Jenny Allen, the mother of an autistic child, petitioned LARA to include autism as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. The review panel ultimately voted 7-2 against the approval. Panel members suggested that there wasn’t enough peer reviewed research that indicated potential benefits of cannabis in the treatment of autism.
The testimonies from families that were submitted to the panel were compelling and heart wrenching. Lisa Smith stated that:
“I’ve been at the end of my rope trying to help Noah and everything failed him. Everything except cannabis … He was biting himself, pulling his hair, he would ram his head, that’s all stopped.”
This sentiment was echoed by family after family at the hearing.
According to Dr. Lester Grinspoon, 40 year Professor Emeritus at Harvard Psychiatry,
“Marijuana is the drug of choice these days for symptomatic treatment of Autism. If I had an autistic child, I’d be right there with these parents figuring out his strain and dosage”.
“It works!” realizes Dr. Chugani, Chief of the Pediatric Neurology department at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
The individuals who navigated the deepest into the science behind Autism’s riddling labyrinth of theories are without doubt Joe Stone and Dr. Christian Bogner, board certified physician in Michigan. They were able to provide peer reviewed evidence that cannabis not only has the potential to provide palliative relief of symptoms related to autism, but may also have the potential to target the underlying causes of autism itself.
“What we have presented to the review panel is not only demonstrating safety, but also clear benefits. I want them to feel confident about their vote. Michigan needs to defend good science and remain on the forefront of scientific research and progress. Those parents want the best for their children. They are not satisfied with what conventional therapies offer. Don’t prosecute them for that choice. It is un-American!”, explains Dr. Bogner.