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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Marijuana and Autism in the OC

Previous posts have dealt with the use of marijuana in treating autism. In Orange County, California, OC Weekly's Matt Coker reports:
A Denver biotech company and Los Angeles nonprofit foundation dedicated to the treatment of autism are disavowing their previously announced partnership with UC Irvine.

The clarification comes more into focus when you know the players. The firm, Cannabis Science, develops pharmaceutical products from marijuana plants. The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A) promotes cannabis-based medical research and clinical trials for those afflicted with the disorder.

A March 20 Cannabis Science announcement about its partnering with UF4A included this line:

"To date, we have already partnered with the University of California Irvine Medical Center to oversee our cannabis-based Autism research. Included in this group of advisors is the Dean of Medicine at UCI, and child psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Hedrick, M.D."

The use of cannabis to treat autism is portrayed as the subject of a presentation Hedrick made earlier this year, according tothe UF4A website.

However, this week, Cannabis Science released the following:

Cannabis Science wishes to clarify that the partnership is only a partnership with UF4A. Cannabis Science has no relationship or affiliation with the University of California, Irvine, the Dean of the UCI School of Medicine, or any of its faculty ("UCI"). UF4A has no affiliation with UC Irvine, though UC Irvine psychiatrist treats the autistic son of UF4A founder, Mieko Hester-Perez. Neither UCI nor Dr. Hedrick is conducting research into medical marijuana and autism.

In 2010, California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana in the state.