Doctors treat a 7-year-old girl suffering from leukemia with marijuana, being one of Oregon’s youngest patient to take the drug.
Her mother has been giving the girl marijuana pills to combat chemotherapy’s effects, but her father fears that the drug’s effects will affect the brain development. Since Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with leukemia last spring, her mother has been giving her one gram of cannabis per day.
“As a mother, I am going to try anything before she can potentially fall on the other side,” said Erin Purchase, 25.
The girl says that the cannabis pills make her sleep and eat, but also make her feel ‘funny’. Her father, who is divorced form the mother and lives in North Dakota, contacted child welfare officials, her oncologist and the police as he opposes the marijuana treatment after he saw his daughter back in August.
“She was stoned out of her mind,” said Jesse Comstock, 26. “All she wanted to do was lie on the bed and play video games.”
Comstock, who used marijuana in the past, said he is ok with people over 16 using medical marijuana, but fears that the drug might hurt his daughter’s well-being and make her become an addict.
“She’s not terminally ill,” Comstock said. “She is going to get over this, and with all this pot, they are going to hinder her brain growth.”It’s going to limit her options in life because of the decisions her mother has made for her.”
Although Oregon laws do not require monitoring a child’s medical marijuana use by a pediatrician, they allow parents to decide the frequency, manner and dosage of a child’s marijuana consumption. The mother believes that marijuana heals, as the drug cured her stepfather’s skin cancer. She is convinced of marijuana’s safety that she used it during the pregnancy and while breastfeeding her second child.
Purchase said that when Mykayla’s symptoms are especially bad, she gives her cannabis-infused food, up to 1.2 grams of cannabis oil a day, the equivalent of smoking 10 joints. Although Mykayla’s first oncologist considered the marijuana use “inappropriate” Purchase says that thanks to the drug her daughter managed to fight past the chemotherapy and get back to a sense of normalcy.
“She’s like she was before,” her mother said. “She’s a normal kid.”