Yukon Family Pushes To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Oklahoma For Autistic Son
YUKON, Oklahoma - Supporters of medical marijuana say it can be used for a wide variety of treatments including glaucoma, cancer and AIDS. But now support is growing, including here locally, to give it to children who suffer from autism.
When legislators return to the statehouse next week, medical marijuana will be back on the table. And one local family says they will be pushing for it to pass for the sake of their autistic son.
Life with 7-year-old Deacon is a constant challenge.
"It's like crisis mode all the time just trying to make it through the day, and that's no way for any of our children to live," said Catherine Mejias, Deacon's mother.
The Mejias family has tried a long list of doctor prescribed medications, as well as alternative treatments. Nothing has worked.
"We are just looking for something that will make him happy," said Gill Mejias, Deacon's father.
They think that something may be THC, a chemical in medical marijuana.
The idea is controversial, but gaining momentum nationwide after parents in states with legalized marijuana have claimed success.
"I feel like I have my son back," said Mieko Hester-Perez of Fountain Valley, California on "The Doctors."
But legalizing marijuana in Oklahoma will be a tough sell. Last year Senate Bill 573 didn't even make it to a vote and during an online town hall meeting this summer, Governor Mary Fallin said she cannot support legalizing marijuana.
"I just feel like marijuana use if it's legalized will lead to possible other substance abuse and I just see substance abuse as a major, major issue," Fallin said.
Deacon's family, however, argues 16 other states have legalized medical marijuana and they would like the same options for their son.
"I just want to give it a try, I'm willing to try anything for him," Catherine said.
Doctors say although THC works for some children, more research is needed.
There are a handful of formal studies currently underway on the effects of marijuana on Autism.