Mykayla Comstock, a 7-year-old girl with leukemia, is one of Oregon's youngest medical marijuana users.
Mykayla, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last spring, is one of 2,201 cancer patients-- 52 of them children -- authorized to use cannabis by the state, the Oregonian reports.
The girl, who calls herself "Brave Mykayla," takes a gram of cannabis oil daily to combat side effects of her chemotherapy, such as nausea, restlessness and loss of appetite, but she says that the pills make her feel "funny."
Mykayla's mother, Erin Purchase, credits cannabis with her daughter's remission, but Jesse Comstock, the girl's father, who is divorced from Purchase, is concerned that the use of medical marijuana will impair his daughter's mental development.
Oregon law doesn't require the monitoring of a child's medical marijuana use by a pediatrician. Under the state's 14-year-old medical marijuana law, parents are authorized to decide the dosage, frequency and manner of a child's marijuana consumption.
Although marijuana is listed as a Schedule II narcotic by the State of Oregon, the federal government classifies it as a Schedule I narcotic, which means a physician cannot prescribe it, according to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program handbook.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., but the effects of marijuana on the developing brain remains a topic of interest to researchers.
A 2012 study published by researchers at Duke University, for example, linked persistent, heavy marijuana use with a decline in cognitive performance.
In May, the Detroit Free Press reported on a 14-year-old who used medical marijuana to treat epileptic seizures.
At the time, Cooper Brown was just one of 44 Michigan residents under the age of 18 "with a medical marijuana card," the news outlet reports. A 7-year-old and two 9-year-olds were also among that group of children.
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