Logan Simpson, a medical marijuana patient under the Arizona Medical Marijuana program is one of thousands of child patients directly affected by the ruling at the Arizona court of appeals deciding concentrates are illegal. Logan’s parents, Shaun Simpson and Brandy Williams along with Arizona NORML State Director, Mikel Weisser were recently featured in Arizona’s NBC’s Channel 12 KPNX story bringing attention to the issue. The availability of concentrates in oil form for children under the program is absolutely critical for them to be able to effectively ingest the medicine in order to treat their illnesses.
Arizona’s medical marijuana community is on edge following a controversial ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Considering a 2013 Prescott case, the court ruled Tuesday that hashish—a marijuana extract—is not allowed as part of the state’s medical marijuana law.
The extract is the primary ingredient in many marijuana products, including those used by children.
8-year-old Logan Simpson’s parents told 12 News that if the decision stands, their family will move out of Arizona, because marijuana has been revolutionary for their young son.
“It was life-changing. We had a completely different life after it,” said Logan’s father Shaun Simpson. “It’s keeping him alive.”
Early life for Logan wasn’t easy. The autistic boy was non-verbal, restless, and violent.
“It is terrifying watching your child try to harm themselves and constantly attack you,” said Brandy Williams, Logan’s mother.
His parents say the anti-psychotic and steroid drugs prescribed to Logan made him even more aggressive. However, when they turned to cannabis oil—medical marijuana—his entire world changed.
“All the pharmaceuticals just had negative effects a mile long. And he got him on cannabis and it’s like we got our son back,” said Simpson.
But that medicine is illegal, at least according to a new ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals.
The judges decided only the plant itself is legal under the state’s medical marijuana laws—like what you’d smoke in a joint.
The plant’s resin, however, was deemed illegal. The resin is used in edibles, drinks, and oils like you’d smoke in a vape pen.
It all boils down to language in the law, which advocates say isn’t what voters approved.
“It’s playing semantics. It’s a word game,” said Williams.
“If people can’t get access to this, about 40 percent of the medicine that people take through the program becomes unavailable … this is a real health crisis for tens of thousands of Arizonans,” said Mikel Weisser, the executive director of the Arizona Chamber of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML).