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MyKayla Comstock is 7 years old and undergoing chemotherapy for her Leukemia. She’s also one of Oregon’s youngest medical marijuana patients taking up to a gram of cannabis oil a day to combat feelings of insomnia and a lack of appetite. When her symptoms have been really bad her mother, Erin Purchase, will feed her cannabis infused foods.

MyKayla has had up to 1.2 grams of cannabis oil in 24 hours which is the equivalent of smoking 10 joints.

MyKayla’s father, Jesse Comstock, is not in support of his daughter taking marijuana oil to combat the negative side effects of chemo.  He feels that the marijuana will have an effect on the development of MyKayla’s young brain. He was not aware that his daughter was taking marijuana oil until he took her for a doctor’s visit after she was exhibiting odd behavior. The doctor then alerted him to his daughter having levels of THC that were close to those of a daily marijuana user.

MyKala and her mother are both marijuana patients so there is no law being broken. Erin’s boyfriend is also MyKala’s grower. There is currently no law in Oregon that requires pediatricians to monitor a child’s medical marijuana use.

What lies here is a question of ethics and morals. Whether you are pro or anti marijuana, is it truly safe enough to be prescribed to a child?

Erin’s argument is that she believes the marijuana oil is not harmful and is the reason that her daughter’s leukemia is now in remission. She’s also taken marijuana herself during her pregnancy with her second child and while breastfeeding.

Jesse’s argument is that, although he’s smoked pot in the past and is not against persons 16 or older smoking marijuana, a child of 7 years old should not be “stoned out of her mind”. He argues that she is not terminally ill and that all her mother is doing is hindering her brain growth and limiting her options in life because of the decisions her mother has made for her.

I find it hard to not agree with Jesse’s logic.

There are other things (like behavioral changes and alternative medication) that can be done to combat MyKayla’s lack of appetite and insomnia that won’t make her feel “funny” as she claimed.

Her lack of appetite can be regulated by creating a food schedule, eating foods rich in calories and nutrients, changing the behavior associated with their normal eating habits – like making eating a social event with family and friends for encouragement.  Her insomnia can also be combated by a consistent sleep schedule and preparation for sleep like only using her bed for sleeping (not watching TV, reading or playing), minimizing naps, using room darkening curtains, and winding down physically 2 hours before bedtime with cognitive relaxation techniques.

There are also medications that MyKayla can take for both like Tylenol PM for sleep or Megace (megestrol acetate) to increase appetite.

I’m with Jesse on this one. I don’t think the risk of long-term effects on an underdeveloped brain from marijuana use is worth the risk. There has to be a higher level of parental responsibility here and I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of this story.

If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/7-year-old-medical-marijuana-combat-chemo-article-1.1207408

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/sleep-problems.aspx

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/cancer-and-chemobased-lack-of.aspx

 

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