But just as often, it seems, parents are going it alone.
The parking lot of Noho’s Finest, a medical marijuana dispensary in a gritty industrial area of the San Fernando Valley, is packed most days.
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Experts are also concerned that in a largely unregulated business, contaminants like pesticide residues and molds could lead to adulterated versions of an otherwise potentially low-risk drug.
From open to close, customers, most of them men, parade into the emporium where everything from bud to THC-laced cookies and pipes are for sale.
At the edge of the busy parking lot, up a plywood ramp and behind a black metal door, there’s an office belonging to Realm of Caring’s Ray Mirzabegian, the go-to guy in Southern California for medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy.
None of the drugs she’s been prescribed have helped and although she can walk, the girl, now 3, does not speak. The girl was having up to 200 seizures per day when her parents heard anecdotal reports that marijuana could reduce or even stop seizures. Fueled by success stories on Facebook and family blogs, these parents are acquiring marijuana through quasi-legal and illegal means, giving their children a derivative oil low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes psychoactive effects, but high in cannabidiol (CBD), one of the hundreds of other compounds found in the plant.
Since beginning her marijuana oil regimen earlier this year, the girl’s episodes are down to 30 per day at most, according to her father. And yet there is little science about the safety or efficacy of treating children with CBD.