One autistic boy in Oregon has been relieved of his self-destructive behavior through the intake of marijuana.
Parents of 11-year-old Alex Echols decided to put him into a state-funded group home after they failed to find a way to control his violent outbursts, which often included him hitting his head on a wall until he had bruises and was bleeding.
They attempted to control it by giving him a helmet and providing him with mood-altering drugs, but nothing worked.
It was only after he was put in a home that his parents found out about another family who was facing a similar situation, and had used marijuana to successfully treat it.
After they found a doctor to approve the use of medical marijuana on Alex, they began giving him a liquid form of the drug three times a week.
It only took a few months for them to see results.
"He went from yelling, screaming, bloodying his face, to within an hour, hour and a half, he would be playing with toys, using his hands," Jeremy Echols said. "Something that at that time was almost unheard of."
Alex has a rare genetic disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis which leads to the growth of non-malignant tumors in his organs, particularly his brain.
Around 50,000 people in the US suffer from the condition, which leaves victims unable to communicate and forces them to behave erratically.
Though Alex's group home refuses to administer the drug, his parents are allowed to give him a syringe-full of liquid marijuana three times a week.
It is legal in Oregon for children to receive medical marijuana without the monitoring of a doctor.
He is one of 58 children currently protected under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.