In a case that raises new questions about the cancer-fighting properties of cannabis a mother in Colorado, is fighting her doctors over the medical treatment of her 3-year-old son.
Our Colorado marijuana lawyers know that medicinal marijuana has many uses, and not all of those have yet been fully explored by the medical community.
The child has leukemia, and doctors initially gave him almost no chance of surviving. Yet after months on chemotherapy and medical marijuana, he’s in remission. He’s doing so well his mother wants to take him off chemo and rely solely pot. However, his physicians are trying to stop her.
He suffers from ALL, or acute lymphocytic leukemia, a blood and bone-marrow cancer. It’s the most common form of cancer in children, but it’s also one of the most curable, with a survival rate of 90 percent.
In this case, however, the child’s condition wasn’t discovered until it was in the advanced stages. By the time the condition was diagnosed, doctors gave the child a 8 percent chance of survival.
The boy used to live in Utah with his mother. Doctors in Salt Lake City put him on a four-year chemotherapy plan, which is the standard treatment. After the first two months, he developed neuropathy, nerve damage that causes pain, weakness and numbness. He became severely ill.
Around this time, the family first heard of marijuana as a possible treatment for his nausea. A friend set up a Facebook page, asking for help for the family, and several responses recommended medical marijuana.
But marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is illegal in Utah. After considering other states, the family settled on neighboring Colorado, where cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational purposes.
The mother learned of the state’s largest marijuana cultivators, a group of brothers who produce a strain they’ve dubbed, “Charlotte’s Web.”
The strain is high in a chemical known as CBD, believed to help certain medical conditions, including cancer and epilepsy. The boy’s mother asserts that once they moved to Colorado and began medicinal marijuana treatment, the child’s red and white blood cell counts increased dramatically.
Then, six months into treatments at Children’s Hospital of Colorado in Aurora, the family decided their son was doing so well they would take him off the chemotherapy treatments.
Their doctor contacted child protective services. A case worker visited the family’s home. The mother has since hired a lawyer and is attempting to find her son a new physician so she can take him off steroids and chemotherapy altogether.
At a meeting with doctors in October, the medical team agreed to change Landon’s chemotherapy plan, but then failed to follow through.
The Hospital released a statement saying, “chemotherapy is a required part of therapy” for children with leukemia. Hospital officials noted that marijuana-derived medications are frequently used on children on chemotherapy.
Some evidence, including studies on animals, indicates marijuana has the potential to kill cancer cells. But the American Cancer Society says cannabis still needs to be tested more extensively in humans before it can be used as a cancer treatment.
As for the son, he’s still in remission. Child protective services hasn’t thus far taken any action. Still, the mother said she is ready to continue fighting for what she thinks is best for her son.
The Colorado CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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Uruguay Lifts Prohibition of Marijuana – Joins Colorado and Washington StateDecember 25, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog