DEVON >> Medical marijuana has been a godsend for Erica Daniels’ 12-year-old autistic son.
Daniels, who grew up in Ardmore and now lives in Narberth, said it has helped him with stress and lessened the frequency of “meltdowns.” His speech and “overall health,” have improved, she said.
Daniels was on hand at the open house held Wednesday for the new Keystone Shops medical marijuana dispensary at W. 420 Lancaster Avenue, a former Dairy Queen. The shop opens for business on Friday.
Riley Cote, who had skated for eight seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers and got into 250 fights in his hockey career, also praised the usefulness of medical marijuana in treating sports-related injuries.
Playing hockey “comes with a price,” said Cote. “While I was going through my early career, I discovered cannabis was a really therapeutic tool. I kept it to myself.”
After he retired, his body started breaking down, he said.
“The main reason I was really drawn to cannabis was for pain management and the anti-inflammatory properties,” he said. “The beautiful thing with cannabis is it helps with much more than that. It helps with my anxiety.”
Daniels, who founded Hope Grows for Autism, said, “For years I tried everything and searched for treatment (for her son). There is no cure for autism. Today one in 33 children has autism. And it’s a global health crisis.” Medical cannabis has been “the most effective treatment with minimal to no side effects,” Daniels said. “And it’s natural.”
“As a mother, not being able to care for your child or help your child, to see your child in pain and suffering is the most heart-wrenching thing you can experience,” said Daniels. She began giving her son medical marijuana treatments under the state’s Safe Harbor program.
State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, who