A Michigan mother is speaking out about how medical marijuana changed the life of her son who struggles with autism. Amie Carter says that before giving her 11-year-old son Jayden medicinal cannabis, he experienced frequent and often violent tantrums.
But those have become a thing of the past after he began using medicinal marijuana.
"He is going on almost a year with no encounters with the police, which was kind of a regular thing for us,” Carter told WLNS. "Now he's saying 'Mom, look at that bird', or 'Isn't that a pretty color blue?', he's communicating, he's talking about his future.”
Jayden added that cannabis has helped him connect with the outside world.
“I’ve never been able to care about what's outside, what is life, and now I can actually see and feel what other people feel,” he said.
David Harns, Spokesperson for the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, says it's stories like Carter's that make it important to hold public hearings on cannabis. Amie spoke up about Jaden during a hearing held by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, who joined forces to public opinion on whether or not the state should add conditions like autism and anxiety to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana.
"You can only do so much in writing, you can turn in all the documents and all the paperwork, but it's good to hear from those who turned in that paperwork,” Harns said.
A review panel will be meeting next week to consider the testimonies given at this hearing and vote to make recommendations on which medical conditions should be added to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Amie Carter says she's hopeful that other autistic children will be able to access the same treatments as her own son.
"I am still am in awe how well it worked for Jayden and I feel that other families need that same opportunity here in Michigan."
Meanwhile, the state will also vote on legalizing recreational use this November, which could make Michigan the first jurisdiction in the Midwest to fully repeal cannabis prohibition.