Mesa boy's parents sue state to allow him to be medicated with cannabis oil drops

MESA, AZ - A Valley couple is teaming up with the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the state of Arizona for the chance to give their five year old the medicine they said he needs.

That medicine just happens to be medical marijuana.

The lawsuit centers around an oil extract of cannabis, something that according to state law, might not be included as an approved form of medical marijuana. But it's something Zander Welton's parents said he desperately needs.

"We're actually starting to get to know our son," said Zander's mom Jennifer.

Zander was born with a genetic brain defect that gives him several seizures a week. It also made Zander stop developing at about a year old. Since Zander started using medical marijuana, he's made huge progress.

"For the first time we've actually had him look at me and come up to me and give me hugs and fall asleep on me," said Zander's dad Jacob.

It's something his parents said they never even dreamed was possible. Zander takes the treatment in the form of cannabis oil, an extract of the marijuana plant.

"You just give him a syringe of medication, you know, just like a cough syrup," Jennifer said.

But since it's an alternative form of medical marijuana, the state said it could be illegal for dispensaries to sell. Now the Waltons are afraid they could be charged with a crime, so they've turned to traditional medical marijuana.

"The way we're having to do it now is to take just marijuana plant and crush it and mix it into pudding or applesauce and then try to get him to eat it," Jennifer said.

But it isn't easy.

"He'll try to spit it out or not swallow all of it, or he'll refuse to take it," she said.

That's why the Weltons are suing the state of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer, the Arizona Department of Health Services, DHS Director Will Humble and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. They said they hope the court will rule those marijuana extracts are legal, and that a judge will decide no one can sue them for trying to help their son.

ABC15 News reached out to the agencies named in the lawsuit. They wouldn't comment on pending litigation.

The Weltons are hoping to have some answers in the next couple of months.

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