John Cadiz Klemack and Edwin Calderon
A 7-year-old cancer patient's cannabis-oil treatment is raising questions about medical marijuana's affect on sick children. John Cadiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2012.
A 7-year-old cancer patient has reignited the debate over medical marijuana, this time with a focus on younger recipients of the controversial drug.
Mykayla Comstock is one of Oregon's youngest medical marijuana patients and relied on an oral syringe full of liquid cannabis every day for months while undergoing chemotherapy.
Mykayla suffers from Intermediate Risk T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her mother, Erin Purchase, credits the 10 gram doses with helping Mykayla get through some agonizing treatments.
"It makes you not eat very good and it makes you feel kind of pukey," the little girl told reporters.
Oregon has a medical marijuana use law, similar to that in California. The treatment is perfectly legal, although many people, including Mykayla's biological father, disagree with its appropriateness for young children.
Marc O'Hara, with the Los Angeles-based Patient Care Alliance, believes it is appropriate.
"The stories are out there and the truth about this miracle plant is gonna be known to people," he said.
O'Hara represents patients who consume medical marijuana and said there are many stories like Mykayla's.
"We have account after account of people who suffer from profound seizures, from autism, from post-surgical pain, loss of appetite because of radiation or cancer treatments," he said.
Mykayla said without the cannabis she feels “more tireder.”
"And with the Cannabis I have more energy to like play and stuff," she said. "It makes me feel funny, happy."
Mykayla’s mother said they use the treatments to reduce nausea, pain and anxiety associated with chemotherapy and constant hospital visits. The 7 year old is in remission currently, but doctors are not crediting the marijuana for her progress.