In Grand Blanc Township , near Flint, a family gives daily doses of olive oil infused with medical marijuana to their 6-year-old daughter afflicted with a life-threatening seizure disorder.
After years of seeing her suffer, the girl’s constant seizures all but disappeared after she began swallowing the oil in January, her parents said. They turned away from their child’s regular doctors and found two physicians willing to sign their state application.
Michigan allows medical marijuana for seizure disorders. Yet, these parents still skirt state law and a court ruling that say Michigan patients must smoke their medical marijuana.
Some parents of children with autism also have been fighting to change state law to allow the disorder to be treated with medical marijuana. Some say they’re looking for treatments to take the place of prescription drugs that can have strong side effects.
Across the state, a small but growing cohort of parents of children with severe, debilitating conditions feel hamstrung by Michigan’s laws, regulations and court rulings that govern the pediatric use of medical marijuana.
“A lot of these kids are fighting for their lives,” said Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patients Rights Association, a statewide nonprofit group with an office in Grosse Pointe.
Legislation that would amend Michigan’s 6-year-old medical marijuana act and open up treatment to more children has stalled in the Legislature in the past. There are several hearings scheduled this summer, offering hope for parents who want treatments expanded beyond smoking and the list of approved disorders broadened.
Some critics who oppose medical marijuana contend it’s simply a ploy to legalize marijuana use.