This past Saturday I spoke with the national leadership of the Young Republicans (YRs). I believe that the future of constitutional conservatism lies in the hearts and hands of these young people. We need to spend more time with them, and elevate them into prominence, positions of responsibility, and elected office.
Right before I spoke to the group, there was a panel discussion on medical marijuana use. Now, let me reiterate, I am a fella that has never smoked, drank alcohol, and certainly not done any drugs. The hardest thing I drink is ginger ale. So, I am not supportive of free, open, recreational use of any drug. And, no, I don’t like being around those who abuse alcohol.
However, this panel discussion was totally different, and my individual discussion with the women there really touched me. I got a chance to meet three women, one white, one Hispanic and black, and one Hispanic, They were all mothers who had children with autism, at different ages. They are all part of a group called Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA). Here are their mission statement and vision, “MAMMA’s mission is to educate and empower families and caregivers to advocate for the legal use of medical cannabis for autism. We envision the United States to be a country where families and caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorder will have the freedom to legally access organically grown, whole plant, therapeutic cannabis in all its various medicinal forms.MAMMA was founded in 2014 to address the growing epidemic of autism with therapeutic cannabis – a safe, affordable and effective medical option for autism spectrum disorders.”
The three women, Amy, Thalia, and Mayra were not what some of you may be thinking of in advocating for this usage. They were Christian, constitutional conservative mothers who were concerned about the suffering of their children, and in Amy’s case, her family. What they explained to me is that medicinal marijuana, cannabis, is already approved for use in cases of epilepsy. All they are seeking is for the same inclusion for autism. This is not about kids sitting around and smoking “joints” getting high, but rather through oral, ingestion of cannabis oil to aid in relieving the neurological issues. They would prefer this to having continual failures of psychotropic drugs that have clearly been more detrimental to their children.
In Amy’s case, her son is a 19-year-old violent autistic child that has been placed in full-time care. However, as she explained to me, her son will be released at the age of 22 and could be returned home, where he has attacked her. She would prefer legalizing the use of medicinal cannabis for autism.
I know that this may be a very sensitive subject, but to me, this could be common sense. If we can leverage this to improve the quality of life for the child, and the family, let’s try. If we have already approved this protocol, under a controlled environment, for those suffering from epilepsy, why not assess how we can do so for autism?
Why am I writing this missive? I want these ladies, and this organization to at least be heard out. If there is one thing that I saw in the eyes of Amy, Thalia, and Mayra it was their heartfelt concern about the quality of life for their children. And if there is one thing I always advocate for, it is common sense. I believe that these women — and there are MAMMA chapters in other states — should be heard. No elected official should be so obtuse as to not hear them out, read their research, and consider this inclusion of autism for medicinal cannabis use. If we can save one life, or at least improve it, then why not at least try?
As stated, I am not a fan of drug use, but to me, this is not about drug use. This is about trying to provide a solution, a viable one, that can be controlled, in order to help those suffering from this condition. If there is one thing I appreciated was the passion of these three mothers, Amy, Thalia, and Mayra. Their kids deserve the best shot for the American dream that we can provide them.
I implore y’all to visit their website at mammausa.org and make your own determination. As for me, I believe we should consider extending the same protocols for medicinal cannabis use to those suffering from autism as we have for epilepsy.
That seems to be a common sense approach.
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.