Some doctors think medical marijuana could be an effective Autism treatment

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Some doctors believe medical marijuana could be an effective treatment for children with Autism.

The drug treatment is non-euphoric, or would contain low THC levels,  so kids wouldn’t get high.

Under Florida Amendment 2, doctors should be able to order it for patients,  but there’s a possible hurdle in the way.

There’s a push to have each case go before the Florida Board of Medicine first.

“The board of medicine is not in the consultation with us, they’re not assessing patients one on one like we are.”, said pediatrician Dr. David Berger.

Berger explains that patients with Autism suffer from similar symptoms as people with PTSD, who are now eligible for medical marijuana under the “Compassionate Care Act”.

The way the law reads, Dr. Berger should legally be able to order medical marijuana to treat those symptoms.

That’s something parents like Leslie Ciper would at least like to try to treat her 16-year-old son Eric.

When her son has behavioral episode his world quickly starts to spiral.

“He’s completely unreachable when he’s having a  panic attack – I can’t communicate with him. He might throw himself at a wall – he might break something he might throw things.”

Right now, the treatment protocol for Eric are anti-psychotic medication with potentially dangerous of side effects for her son.

“My son is nonverbal, if he started feeling depressed and wanted to kill himself, which is a side effect of the drugs doctors want to prescribe him, I would have no way of knowing.

Ciper went on to say the anti-psychotic drugs leave her son in a haze.

“I could use the medications on the market now, but I don’t want to drug up my son, that is not the life for him.” she said.

Ciper would at least like the chance to try medical marijuana as a treatment option for her son, and if it doesn’t work, then she simply would have him stop using it.

The Florida Department of Health is holding rule making sessions across the state. If you would like to have a voice, there is one being held Wednesday February 8, at the Florida Department of Health, Tampa Branch Laboratory, 3602 Spectrum Blvd.  The session begins at 9 a.m.

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