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Arizona parents sue to treat son with marijuana extracts

Extract for boy’s seizures may be illegal

TUCSON, Ariz. – The parents of a 5-year-old Arizona boy are suing the state, seeking to treat their son’s seizure disorder with marijuana extracts under the state’s medical marijuana law.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of Jennifer and Jacob Welton, parents of young Zander. The Weltons, of Mesa, Ariz., want to force the state to include marijuana extracts, such as oil resins, as legal substances under a law approved three years ago by voters.

The boy’s severe epilepsy is one symptom of a rare congenital condition. This year, Arizona Department of Health Services officials approved a medical marijuana application for Zander, issuing the child a medical marijuana patient identification card.

But some state officials have suggested that only the marijuana plant – not its extract – is legal for medicinal purposes, ACLU officials said.

Fearing criminal prosecution, the couple stopped giving Zander the extract even though it had successfully treated his disorder, the complaint stated.

Zander has undergone two unsuccessful brain surgeries, his parents stated in the lawsuit. The only effective treatment is the oil containing the marijuana extract, in combination with the dried marijuana plant, which has reduced Zander’s seizures dramatically, the complaint stated.