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5 Year Old Arizona Boy Approved For Medical Marijuana

By on September 4, 2013
Five year old Zander Welton suffers from a genetic brain disorder that causes violent and uncontrollable seizures.

Five year old Zander Welton suffers from a genetic brain disorder that causes severe and uncontrollable seizures – Zander Welton may be the youngest patient to use medical marijuana in Arizona.

Last week, Zander’s family received a license from the state government, allowing them to purchase marijuana as a treatment for their child’s uncontrollable seizures, reports the Daily Mail.

Zander's family have tried nearly everything, including a device implanted in his brain

Zander has even had a medical device implanted in his brain

Five year old Zander has suffered from cortical dysplasia – a genetic brain disorder that has led Zander to develop autism and epilepsy – since birth.

However, Zander continues to suffer from seizures along with new side effects caused by various treatments.

But soon, the Welton family will try a marijuana-based oil with high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) to finally bring relief to their sick child.

Jennifer says she was inspired to seek out CBD treatment by stories from other families and patients who claim that it can be an effective treatment for epilepsy.

“I wouldn’t even be thinking about this if it didn’t do something beneficial for him. I don’t want him stoned. I just want him better.”

CBD is found in high concentrations in certain strains of marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it can’t get you high.

However, while CBD and other ingredients in marijuana have shown promise in animal studies, human trials began only recently.

Unfortunately, that leaves most doctors with little guidance on its effectiveness as a treatment, Dr. Steven Wolf, director of Pediatric Epilepsy at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, explained to ABC News.

“I can say if this was my kid and if there was a possibility it would work, I would certainly want to know. This is interesting, but this needs investigation.”

Research on medical marijuana has lagged due to federal restrictions that put marijuana in the most restrictive category of substances. And while many states have passed measures to allow patients access, much of its potential is only backed by anecdotal evidence.

But that hasn’t stopped Zander’s family – and many others – from seeking out treatment, despite the numerous roadblocks that they face.

While the Welton family managed to obtain the support of two doctors – a requirement of Arizona’s marijuana regulations for underage patients – they are now unsure of how they will afford the treatment.

The high-CBD oil will cost them around $1,200 a month.

And although Zander’s previous treatments were covered by the state – amounting to $5,000 in monthly prescriptions – the family will not be able to receive help from the government if they choose medical marijuana.

The Welton family hopes to raise enough donations from the public through online fundraisers in order to finance a treatment regime that they think could be the answer for their young boy.

[Daily Mail][ABC News]

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