Ore. parents use pot to treat boy's autistic rages

The parents of an 11-year-old boy in Oregon are using marijuana for his autistic rages.

Alex Echols' behavior was brought on by tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disorder that affects about 50,000 Americans. The disease causes growths in organs, which can lead to seizures and autism.

Echols  cannot communicate with words, so it is difficult for his parents to know what's troubling him.

His parents have turned to medical marijuana to manage his behavior.

Echols is one of about 50 Oregon children with a medical marijuana card. While autism is not a qualifying medical condition like cancer or severe pain, seizures are.

After a few months of treatment, his parents say they saw a dramatic improvement.

"Indescribable, it was horrifying," says Echols' father. "He was .... acting normal then all of a sudden run himself into a wall. When you've got no other options are you honestly going to say 'No'?"

But some doctors say that marijuana is toxic to children's developing brains and there is not enough research on the drug's long -term effects.

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