Mieko Hester-Perez, who was recently named an advisor and spokeswoman for the cannabis company Tikun Olam, has released a “Parental Etiquette Checklist” for parents who wish to treat their children with medical marijuana.
Hester-Perez is known for setting out to show the country her success in treating her son Joey with cannabis for autism and muscular dystrophy.
Ten years later, she has become one of the main advocates for unconventional and holistic treatments for children with autism.
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Treating Children With Cannabis
Tikun Olam is an Israeli medical cannabis producer and researcher with a presence in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K.
The company recently partnered with Hester-Perez as part of a strategy to show the efficacy of its products in treating children with autism spectrum disorders. The company released a study that shows its results in treating 188 children.
Cannabis treatment for children with autism, epilepsy, cancer and other maladies has become a well-known alternative choice.
Many states still don’t allow for this type of treatment to be performed legally, and even in those states that do allow it, parents must be cautious and remain well-informed of the health and regulatory landscape.
The 'Parental Etiquette Checklist'
In his book "Cannabis Medicinal: Recomendando, Formulando, Dosificando," Jaime Claudio Villamil explores the various uses medical cannabis can have in modern medical treatments. Villamil invited Hester-Perez to write a checklist for parents to follow when treating their children with medical cannabis.
Although the book has only been released in Spanish, Benzinga got an exclusive look at Hester-Perez' advice to parents, translated here into English:
- If you’re not in a compassionate state, expect uncompassionate legal action.
- Remember that social media owns everything you post … even in private groups.
- Never assume that all doctors have heard about cannabis as a treatment option.
- Without common sense discretion with medical providers, talking to others about this treatment can be used against your family in Child Protective Services involvement, which could result in removal of the children until the case is closed.
- Always keep a copy of all your medical documentation and third-party behavioral agency reports in a folder handy at every doctor’s appointment and a second copy available in your home.
- Some families keep “medical bibles”: supportive documents that can help avoid legal involvement. If you do have to seek legal counsel, this will also make it easier for your attorney to be successful in the outcome.
- Even if your physician is OK with cannabis treatment, until federal laws are passed, it’s not in your families’ best interest to have this treatment listed in their medical history. Many families receive support through federal agencies and could encounter a loss of services based on this treatment option being present in a report.
- If you have other children in your home, parental discussions about this treatment with minor siblings is not an option. I believe in educating but, until further laws are passed, this too could provide Child Protective Services with another reason to remove your children to evaluate your parental mindset.
- Never assume a budtender at a dispensary is a doctor or autism expert. The wrong strain could land your child in the hospital, where you will have to disclose this treatment in the ER department with doctors who are obligated to call Child Protective Services. Each child is different under the autism umbrella, and so are the dispensaries. My rule of thumb when finding a reputable dispensary: always ask which analytics lab they use for strain testing and whether they have a special needs consultant for families.
- Just because a cannabis company is at a special needs conference doesn't mean it works; it simply means you have an option to explore products. Always keep in mind that a knowledgeable information source is your best bet on your choice of products. Ask yourself, does this company have family peer reviews with reputable opinions?
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