Anthony Abba looks like almost any other 9 year-old-boy, bouncing on a backyard trampoline with his sister and his mom. As an infant, though, he couldn’t do what other kids could.
Anthony had developmental problems early, and soon he was diagnosed as autistic.
“He was pretty severe,” his mother Anna said. “He couldn’t talk or play games.”
At the time, the Abba family lived in California, which allowed them to have legal access to medical marijuana. Anna says that the medicine made a dramatic difference in treating his autism.
“His anxiety went down, he started learning,” she described. “He started doing things on the playground so much easier, he started climbing things.”
When she gave her son the liquid form of cannabis, she says his digestion, sleep, and anxiety all improved. And he even made progress in school.
“His teacher was like, ‘he’s a different kid.’ And I know it’s because cannabis calmed him down enough to be able to learn,” she recalled.
This year, though, to be closer to family, they moved to Texas, where medical marijuana is still almost entirely illegal. And Anthony has suffered.
“The tummy bloat, it came right back. And the anxiety, oh my gosh, the anxiety. It’s like you took away his coping mechanism,” she said.
Texas has had strong prohibitions against marijuana for nearly 100 years. In 1919, the state restricted its purchase as a narcotic. In 1923, it banned possession. In 1931, it allowed life sentences