By Michael Komorn
The autism petition has been approved by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel on 5-4-2018 and has been sent to the Director of LARA for a final decision to add the condition to the qualifying conditions for the Medical Marihuana Program.
In the mean time, physicians in other states use medical marijuana to treat autistic patients already.
By Michael Komorn
Oral cannabis extracts as a promising treatment for the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder: Preliminary experience in Chilean patients
G. Kuester , K. Vergara , A. Ahumada , A.M. Gazmuri DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2017.08.2623 Background: Preclinical studies and several anecdotal case reports suggest a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Objective: To report our preliminary findings in patients with ASD treated with oral cannabis extracts.
Patients and Methods/Material and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all consecutive patients seen between June 2016-March 2017, with ASD diagnosis according to DSM-V, treated with sublingual whole plant cannabis extracts for at least three months. We reviewed demographic/clinical data, neuroimaging/EEG studies, vision/audition/genetic/metabolic tests, and parental/school/neuropsychological reports. Type of cannabis strain, CBD:THC ratio, daily dose of CBD/THC/CBN, and adverse events were documented. Clinical changes were estimated using Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) and Autism Parenting Stress Index (APSI). Informed consent was obtained.
Results: 20 children and one adult patients were selected. Mean age: 9 years, 10 months (range: 26 mo-22 yo), 15 males. Mean follow-up: 7,6 mo (range: 3-12). 66,7% of patients had significant improvement according to CGI-I and APSI. Most cases improved at least one of the core symptoms of ASD, including social communication, language, or repetitive behaviors. Additionally, sensory difficulties, food acceptance, feeding and sleep disorders, and/or seizures were improved in most cases. 71,5% of patients received balanced CBD:THC extracts; 19,0% high-CBD; and 9,5% high-THC extracts. Oral cannabis extracts were well tolerated. Two patients had more agitation and one had more irritability, effects that were solved by changing the strain.
Conclusion: In this small series of ASD patients, oral cannabis extracts were dramatically more effective than conventional medicines. Large randomized controlled trials are needed to establish efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis in ASD.
Israel -- Scientists in Israel are exploring another medical use for marijuana: Their research indicates that a compound in the plant helps heal bone fractures.
The new study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that broken bones healed faster and stronger when the patient received the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or CBD.
By Michael Komorn
Next Friday, July 31 is a very important day for the Michigan Medical Marijuana community. The MMMA, along with physicians, lawyers, and families have worked tirelessly for more than a year to add autism as a qualifying condition under the Act, and next Friday is the vote to add or deny autism into the law.
Please attend this vote, particularly if you treat your child with marijuana, to show solidarity with the parents of autistic children and family members that have led this drive. Komorn Law has pledged to compensate food and gas for all families with children that attend.
Just attending the panel meeting can make a huge difference, there are many people with a debilitating condition who cannot make it. If you know someone in Lansing, ask them to attend. Friday is the ideal day to show respectful support that will have a real, meaningful impact on the panel's vote, and on the futures of these parents and children in need.
I am sure all of you can understand how important this vote is for the families who have children afflicted with autism. I personally would like to believe that with all the hoopla and attention towards legalization lately the patients and families of patients are not lost or overlooked. Medical cannabis is the real deal. For the last 6 years we have all shared together in the miracles of this plant. We have danced on this forum together making history in Michigan as we implement the 2008 voter initiative. The battle continues and the fight is scheduled for July 31. Your appearance will be a strong showing of unity of our medical cannabis community. It will help provide evidence that medical cannabis is real, and safe access for those afflicted with autistism must be the next step for the MMMA.
By Michael Komorn
"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all."
― Emily Dickinson
"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore."
― William Faulkner
"We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that's like saying you can never change your fate."
― Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses
Hope keeps us going; hope is important. It is remaining in the game, believing that things will be OK, and not giving up.
It is getting to the end of the road, having nowhere to go, and instead of quitting, continuing to fight to figure it out, to stay present and mindful, and not give up.
Hope is important. Without hope people have nothing.
A new, thoroughly researched petition to add autism to the list of conditions which can be treated with medical marijuana will be heard by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel on July 20, 2015 at 9:30 am at 611 W. Ottawa in Lansing. LARA originally refused to hear the new petition, citing the denial of two previously submitted petitions for autism. The previously submitted petitions provided limited science and research in support, and resulted in a "no" vote. This new petition was accompanied by over 75 peer review articles and over 800 pages of research on the issue of cannabis as a viable option for the treatment of autism.
Despite what can only be described as overwhelming evidence, LARA, the agency tasked with addressing petitions for new conditions, refused to hold a hearing or even consider the petition. This "dead-end" and unjust position seemingly demanded that myself and Attorney Tim Knowlton, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, and Cannabis Patients United sue LARA in the Ingham County Court. It was only after nearly a year of litigation and foot dragging that LARA ceded its position. Attorney General Bill Schuette's office "defended" LARA's position by delaying for months, only yielding after the petitioner filed her brief with the court, days before oral arguments.
Unfortunately it seems the lives of children and parents hang in the balance of a possibly disinterested and dysfunctional process controlled by LARA.
But now that we are here, and now that there is a debate, the science is overwhelming. Let's not get caught up or distracted from the real issue: autism is a terrible disease with no cure and no proven safe treatments and this is a problem. We could lie to ourselves and say that no evidence exists documenting the effects of cannabis as medicine, but we know this is not true. Testimony was given by parents and physicians, and 75 scientific studies documenting cannabis safety and efficacy in treating autism have now been provided to the panel for their consideration in this decision. We also learned that telling a parent that there is no hope for their child does not work. The most compelling testimony during the May 27 public hearing was that, independent of how the new condition panels decides, parents dealing with this affliction will continue to do what they think is best for their child. This begs the question: shouldn't these parents not have to worry about being arrested considering everything else they have to deal with?
For pediatric and juvenile patients under the age of 18, two doctors would have to approve.
The growing rate of autism has just recently being identified as a significant public health issue, due to statistic provided by the Center for Disease Control's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, a nationwide federal program to identify, estimate, and track and compare autism rates around the country.
Their estimates show an alarming trend: autism rates have risen in every report since tracking began in 2002, from 1 in 150 in 2002 to 1 in 68 in 2010.
In years past, I said people who opposed the medical use of cannabis have never experienced a friend, family member, or person who was suffering from a medical condition. But to oppose the treatment of autism for patients afflicted with the disease is inhumane. To let the status quo remain and subject parents and the physicians who treat these children with exposure to arrest and criminal charges is a deplorable policy for the benefit and welfare of the public health for the citizens of Michigan. There is overwhelming scientific and medical evidence supporting the approval of the petition. There is probably more research supporting the use of cannabis as a treatment for autism than all of the research to support the other ten conditions currently on the registry.
It is important to be mindful of an often overlooked aspect of the MMMA: that its purpose is to protect the serious ill persons who have been recommended to use cannabis with a doctor's (in this case two doctors) recommendation and a bona fide relationship, from arrest and prosecution.
There should be no debate that those afflicted with autism are seriously ill, and the purpose of our law, and the compassion shown by Michigan voters in approval, was to protect parents, patients, and physicians. For the panel to not recommend that autism be approved as a condition of the program is to ignore their duty and responsibility.
Additionally they should be mindful that the standard by which they are held, to a recommend or not recommend as outlined by LARA's own administrative rules, already requires that the condition in question be a debilitating condition:
All too often the issues regarding medical marihuana and marihuana in general are politicized. Even at times using the propagandist's favorite imagery of protecting the children. Well this issue is really about the children, and the only thing that should be considered is that there is overwhelming evidence that cannabis can provide a safe alternative to the traditional medications and treatments currently used for those afflicted with cannabis, and parents and doctors live in fear of criminal liability.
But more importantly, think about any parent that is at the end of the road with traditional treatments, when the physician has no alternative and there is absolutely no likelihood of anything changing for their child, wouldn't we want that parent to have these choices, and who are we to say otherwise?
What would a parent do for their child? is really the question. It the answer is anything, as the testimony presented to the panel indicates, then it is clear parents will continue to treat their children; they will not stop. If it works for their children, the question is, do we want the parents arrested?
It is called hope and every red blooded American is entitled to have it.
Hope is needed here. Protect the children, do not let them or their parents get arrested for treating autism with cannabis.