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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weed Wars: Watch a 5-Year Old Use Medical Marijuana Tonight

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

click to enlarge If it makes parents tolerable ...
  • If it makes parents tolerable ...

A few common schools of thought persist in the medical marijuana debate -- on one end, doubters point to young men at dispensaries and say that the drug is widely abused by people who are "not that sick." On the other hand, believers say that you don't need to be on death's door to benefit from medicine. And isn't Oxycontin prescription heroin, anyway?

A scene bound to engender even more controversy over medical marijuana will be broadcast on national television tonight, when a father will administer medical marijuana to his 5-year-old epileptic son for the first time in front of film crews for the Discovery Channel's Weed Wars.

Proposition 215 recommendations and marijuana use have been good enough reasons for Child Protective Services to take children away from their pot-smoking parents. So then, is giving an admittedly sick kid pot on TV such a good idea?

As its PR machine informed the world, Weed Wars followed around the world of Harborside Health Center for a few months, filming a day in the life of the nation's largest cannabis dispensary and its charismatic CEO, Steve DeAngelo.

In this case, DeAngelo's crew recommended medical marijuana for a desperate "single father", Jason, whose son, Jayden, began experiencing hour-long seizures at the age of four months. The child is given what some might call the devil's weed via a few drops of CBD-laden tincture administered under the tongue. CBD, we may remind you, is the cannabinoid that is associated with non-intoxicating, healing properties; the medical student to its partying roommate, THC.

The first episode aired last week, and the second comes on tonight at 10 on the Discovery Channel. Check your local listings, or break down and order cable (or, like us, just get to know someone who has it).

Tales of children who are hospitalized after inadvertently eating marijuana-laden brownies or cookies have been in the mainstream media recently. But often neglected in the marijuana debate is whether -- like Ritalin -- medical cannabis is okay for children to consume.

In fact, it was the specter of kids smoking pot legally that caused opponents of the drug to pounce in 1996, when Prop. 215 was passed. And indeed, stiff criminal penalties for those using pot in front of children have been floated even by medical marijuana advocates -- included in Prop. 19 last year, supported by DeAngelo, for example.

However, at least one other sick child -- 2-year-old Cash Hyde who suffered a brain tumor -- has been given medical cannabis as a healing agent -- and it worked, according to his father

So if a father's last resort was medical marijuana and it worked to heal his son, what's the harm?

Tune in at 10 tonight., or skip the who thing and go straight to calling Jason a bad dad and us bad bloggers.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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