DENVER (CBS4) – More than 200 children under the age of 10 now have medical marijuana cards in Colorado, according to information received in a CBS4 records request. One woman in Colorado Springs now goes so far to say marijuana has cured her 4-year-old son’s cancer.
Sierra Riddle refused to use much of the chemotherapy that was ordered and now says her son Landon, 4, is cancer free. Even with the progress, the boy is still taking marijuana.
Parents have made amazing claims of success through cannabis in treating illnesses. CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger has been following Landon’s progress. He was diagnosed with leukemia. On Sallinger’s third visit he found a surprising change in how Landon was taking his marijuana.
Landon began with what’s called CBD oil from marijuana containing a very low level THC, the psychoactive ingredient. Now he is doing what’s called “vaping,” in which the heat activates the THC.
“He is 100 times better, and it’s hard to imagine because when we saw you guys he was 100 times better than he was a few months before,” Riddle said.
Riddle said Landon was near death. She claims the chemotherapy was making him sick, so she switched to marijuana oil and moved from Utah to Colorado. Child Protective Services gave her an ultimatum — use the bottles of chemo medication or risk losing her child.
“I took all of them in and I sat them down and (said), ‘Here are all these pills that you said he cannot live without,’ “ Riddle said.
Landon continued to do monthly intravenous chemo treatments in a doctor’s office, but that’s not what Riddle feels has made him the healthy-looking young boy he is today.
Sallinger asked Riddle if she believes marijuana cured Landon’s cancer and she replied that she does. Sallinger then asked her why was Landon was taking marijuana. Riddle said if she stops the marijuana treatments she fears Landon may suffer a relapse.
Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, fears what could happen if Landon continues to use marijuana.
“I’m concerned because we don’t yet know what the potential harmful effects of vaping or eating those kind of products are,” Wolk said.
He said they know marijuana can harm brain development in children.
Figures from the state registry show 357 children under the age of 18 now have marijuana registry cards, and 110 of them are from 5 to 10 years old, with 104 between 1 and 5.
At the Riddle home the risks seem to be far outweighed by the perceived benefits. On Sallinger’s last visit with Riddle she prepared a treat for Landon.
“I’m making Landon a cannabis smoothie,” she said.
The smoothie has bananas, chocolate, oranges, coconut water — and marijuana.
For a growing number of young children in Colorado marijuana is the new health food.
Landon is scheduled to go back to the doctor in a few days. His mother is hoping he will get a clean bill of health and no longer be prescribed chemo. Her claim of marijuana curing his cancer would be confirmed — at least in her mind.