A Richardson family, relying on cannabis vapors to help calm their autistic daughter, is encouraging Texas lawmakers to legalize the drug. This post from DallasNews.com gives an account of how the parents are trying to make a difference.
A Richardson couple who give their autistic daughter marijuana are encouraging Texas lawmakers to expand legal access to the drug.
Mark and Christy Zartler say they give their 17-year-old daughter, who also has cerebral palsy and often hits herself, marijuana to stabilize her mood and combat other symptoms, according to WFAA-TV (Channel 8).
“The only medicine that works for her is punishable by prison,” Mark Zartler said on Facebook last month.
The family posted a Facebook video of Kara Zartler hitting and punching herself. The teen begins to calm down after her father gives her vaporized marijuana through a mask.
The Zartlers said they posted the clip so that others might join the effort against the prohibition of marijuana.
“We want to make a difference for ourselves and other kids like Kara,” Mark Zartler told WFAA. “Somebody has to take the risk.”
The Richardson family is aiming for others to ask lawmakers for a hearing on Senate Bill 269, which would expand access to medical marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions. The bill was referred to the Senate Health and Human Services committee at the end of January, but no action has been taken since.
“This bill would give our family safe and legal access to medical cannabis, the safest and most effective medicine for our daughter,” Mark Zartler wrote on Facebook.
Kara and her twin sister Keeley were born premature at 26 weeks, according to the San Antonio Express-News. When Kara was 10 hours old, she suffered a stroke, her father said. She was diagnosed with severe autism at a young age.
The family said that years ago a neighbor suggested that marijuana could ease Kara’s symptoms and that since she’s been using the drug, she has required a reduced dosage for prescription medications.
Her father grinds the marijuana buds and heats them to 410 degrees, and Kara breathes the vapor through a mask, he said.
“We are telling our story in an effort to change Texas law,” he said on Facebook. “We’ve observed no developmental slippage or negative side effects. On the contrary, she’s made remarkable developmental progress over the last year. Improved awareness and focus. Gains in life skills.”