DALLAS – Shannon Lowe McAllister knows what it’s like to have a child with autism. Her 11-year-old son, Thomas, is non-verbal and has a history of hurting himself.
So when Shannon saw the News 8 report about a dad in Richardson struggling to help his 17-year-old daughter, she felt connected to the girl’s father, Mark Zartler, who treats her with marijuana because she has both cerebral palsy and autism.
“We have experienced that same situation, driving, and him banging his head against the car window, pinching himself, pinching us, pulling my hair. Screaming, yelling, agony, and nothing seems to bring him out of it,” Shannon said.
She also knows that using medical marijuana in Texas is against the law. A law she says needs to change.
“Right now he’s on prescription medication, which is very strong for his age,” she said. “And I would think that marijuana, legal marijuana, would be one of those resources that can bring him out of this.”
Senator Jose Menendez introduced Senate Bill 269 this session. We caught up with him in Austin on Wednesday.
“It makes no sense why we should, as a state, decide to put our heads in the sand, when 28 other states, some very conservative ones, have already passed medicinal use of cannabis based products,” he said, adding that medical marijuana is proven to treat various illnesses. “We have got to do better, we can do better as a state.”
News 8 contacted the