At age 2, Enoch Smith was diagnosed with autism and having overnight seizures. In April, his parents applied to get him an Arizona medical marijuana card.
Enoch also used to hit himself up to 1,000 times a day, AZ Family reports. His behaviors, words and meltdowns were all documented by his parents. They also kept track of when and how much medical marijuana he was given.
Since beginning a medical marijuana regimen in April, Enoch’s healthy brain activity has doubled, and his seizures have decreased drastically. He’s now able to communicate better using more words and has displayed better behavior. His self-harming episodes have stopped.
Erica Smith, Enoch’s mother, said, “It’s changed our entire world. It’s changed his world.”
The first medication that Enoch took was Aptiom, but it produced significant negative side effects, according to his father, Jarod Smith. “He looked like he was possessed. I mean he was running through the house and running into the walls,” said Jerod.
Although Enoch has autism, he qualifies for Arizona’s medical marijuana program due to his seizures. The state has continuously denied the addition of autism to the qualifying conditions list.
Erica said, “Because he’s not having so many seizures, he’s actually able to retain information. He’s able to recall it in the next day.”
Jarod said, “What he was accomplishing in a month, he’s now maybe doing in a day. It really is that exponential.”
Medical marijuana has decreased Enoch’s seizures but it has also improved the symptoms he experiences with his autism. Enoch can focus, he is more interactive and has better coping skills. He’s learned to show affection toward his parents and has improved expressing himself.
Jarod said, “Erica and I have cried a million nights worried sick about our son, and we still will. But at least this is something like hey, we’re relying on this and we’re seeing results – for the first time.”
Erica is part of the group of Arizona mothers who are fighting a hard battle to get autism on the list of qualifying condition for medical marijuana. An official ruling is expected by the end of August.
Photo: 3TV/CBS 5 News