Child finds relief from tourette’s using medical marijuana

Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 3:17 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -A Lawton couple says their child finally has some relief from a painful neurological disorder thanks to medical marijuana.

9-year-old Jaxon Whetzel has a mild form of autism and tourette’s syndrome.

The disorder causes motor and vocal tics that are painful and cannot be easily controlled.

"It started kind of slowly,” said Daniel Whetzel, Jaxon’s father. “There would be noises here and there, and then it started with the full body movements, with his head twitching back, and it was just really painful. By the end of the day, he was begging us to rub his shoulders, because his muscles and stuff were so tight.”

And then there were issues at school.

“His teachers didn’t so much understand it,” said Whetzel. “They thought he was just being loud or making noises, or trying to cause a distraction. And then the other kids would notice, and they would start picking on him about it.”

“People were saying for me to stop and for me to just be quiet, and not do that,” said Jaxon.

Daniel Whetzel says he and his wife went as far as printing out informational cards about Jaxon’s condition.

Over the years, they’ve seen several doctors, and tried various different prescriptions, but nothing was working... until a friend suggested medical marijuana.

“I remember Robin showing videos of him like cringing in the corner and uncontrolled body movements and you just felt so bad for that kid,” said Eddie Neugebauer, dispensary owner. “You could see all over his face, that it hurt.”

Neugebauer pointed Daniel and his wife to a doctor who helped Jaxon get a medical card.

Daniel says, it was an overnight transformation after just one gummy.

“The next day we sat there and watched him,” said Whetzel. “I sat there for 15 or 20 minutes and he was just calm. Was just sitting there not twitching, not making noise, nothing. And I sat there and cried. To just finally see him to be able to just rest.”

“It helps me focus in school, and it helps me be calmer,” said Jaxon.

Dr. Stephen Snell says he believes there are benefits to medical marjiuana, especially for kids like Jaxon.

“The goal is trying to lessen the seizure activity both frequency and severity. But it’s the CBD portion that is anticonvulsant in kids,” said Dr. Snell.

Jaxon takes one gummy each night before bed. His Dad says, at first they were worried about what others would think, but that quickly went away when they saw what edibles did for their child.

“We were worried about what everyone would think about it, but what it boils down to, is he’s our priority, and I don’t care what everybody else thinks,” said Whetzel. “If it works, it works. And there’s no negative side affects of it.”

Daniel says he hopes Jaxon’s story will help curb the stigma surrounding medical marijuana.

“It doesn’t make you a bad person,” said Whetzel. “It doesn’t mean that you’re in to anything illegal, or you’re going to steal from somebody to go buy your marijuana. That’s not how it is. It’s just a plant that has positive side effects.”

If you believe you or your child may benefit from medical marijuana, Dr. Snell says to talk with your physician first.

The Oklahoma Women of Cann, Little Buds project, helped sponsor Jaxon to get his medical card and doctors recommendation. They are a group who offer financial help to families who are in need of medical recommendations. You can find them on Facebook.

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