CBS Early Show Highlights Mom Giving Medical Marijuana to Autistic Son

Russ Mitchell, CBS Continuing the push for medical marijuana, on Monday’s CBS Early Show co-host Russ Mitchell declared: “As more youngsters are being diagnosed with autism, there is a growing need for alternative treatments. One California mother says medical marijuana has made vast improvements in her autistic son.”

Correspondent Hattie Kauffman reported: “Joey is severely autistic, so uninterested in food he was wasting away....But Mieko [Joey’s mother] claims it all changed with marijuana brownies.” Meiko Perez argued: “They’re seeing Joey come out. He’s never made noises. We didn’t even know he could make noise until the first batch of brownies.”

At the end of the brief report, Kauffman noted mild criticism of the controversial treatment: “The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes legalization of marijuana, but supports more research.” She then concluded: “Though there’s absolutely no evidence Marijuana cures autism, this mom says it has improved her child’s life.”

CBS has shown its acceptance of marijuana use in the past. On the February 3 Early Show, co-host Harry Smith commented on a photo of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps caught smoking pot: “So far there hasn't been much negative reaction to the photo....A few years ago, it might have ruined his career. Maybe it's a sign of changing attitudes.” Correspondent Randall Pinkston followed by touting a recent poll: “The seeming lack of outrage may reflect America's changing attitudes towards marijuana...While a majority of Americans still oppose legalization, a new CBS News poll shows a big swing in opinion in recent years.”

Here is a full transcript of the Monday segment:
8:02AM

RUSS MITCHELL: As more youngsters are being diagnosed with autism, there is a growing need for alternative treatments. One California mother says medical marijuana has made vast improvements in her autistic son. Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pot Prescription; Mom Says Marijuana Helps Autistic Son]

MIEKO PEREZ: You want a banana.

HATTIE KAUFFMAN: That Joey Perez wants to eat anything is amazing, says his mom, Mieko.

PEREZ: Everyone who came to my home was watching me watch Joey die. He was deteriorating hourly.

KAUFFMAN: Joey is severely autistic, so uninterested in food he was wasting away. At ten years old, he weighed just 48 pounds. Even bulky Halloween costumes couldn’t disguise his frightening look of starvation. But Mieko claims it all changed with marijuana brownies.

PEREZ: He only ate like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for four years.
            
KAUFFMAN: She says not only is Joey eating more, he’s communicating.

PEREZ: They’re seeing Joey come out. He’s never made noises. We didn’t even know he could make noise until the first batch of brownies.

KAUFFMAN: Medical marijuana is often prescribed for cancer or aids patients who need to gain weight. But a prescription to a child is unusual. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes legalization of marijuana, but supports more research. Though there’s absolutely no evidence Marijuana cures autism, this mom says it has improved her child’s life. Hattie Kauffman, CBS News, Los Angeles.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC