Will marijuana one day be considered a legitimate alternative treatment for children with autism? If the tale of 10-year-old Joey Hester-Perez is true, the possibility certainly exists.


In an interview broadcast by CBS on Monday, Joey's mother Mieko said that medical marijuana essentially saved her son's life, helping to reignite his appetite after he'd lost interest in food and began "wasting away."

When Joey had deteriorated to just 46 pounds, Mieko decided that something had to be done. "You could see the bones in his chest," she told ABC. "He was going to die."

"At first I did some research, and I found a doctor who actually had a protocol for medical marijuana in children diagnosed with autism," Mieko said.

All it took was one batch of marijuana-laced brownies to bring his hunger back. But it wasn't just the boy's appetite that changed, it was his overall demeanor as well.

"My son had self-injurious behaviors," she told He was extremely aggressive, he would run out of our house," she said. "He was a danger to himself and others."

After eating the brownies his aggressive temperament subsided, she said.

There is no evidence that marijuana cures autism, CBS noted. "The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes legalization of marijuana, but supports more research," correspondent Hattie Kauffman added.

This video was broadcast by CBS on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009.


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