Toddler With Cancer Takes Cannabis Oil

PHOTO: Parents of 3-year-old Cash Hyde use cannabis oil to treat his brain cancer.
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Marijuana was the best medicine for 3-year-old Cash Hyde of Missoula, Mont. At least that's what his parents, Mike and Kalli Hyde, believe.

The couple said they defied doctor's orders -- and Montana law -- to get their hands on the medicinal treatment their son needed after he was diagnosed with recurring brain tumors at 22 months old.

"I've had law enforcement threatening to kick my door down, but I would have done anything to keep Cashy alive," Mike Hyde, who said he has long been a proponent of the drug, told ABCNews.com.

Hyde said police sought out the Hydes after they publicly spoke about how Cash's health benefited from cannabis oil. Mike has not been arrested, although he said police have threatened to.

But Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welsh said he was unfamiliar with the Hydes' case, and he assured that this is not a black and white situation.

"This is not a situation that we routinely run into," Welsh told ABCNews.com. "There are a lot of different variables to consider in this situation. I can't imagine we'd go out right away to arrest this dad for a drug offense. But there are other factors, including whether it's appropriate for somebody to act independently of doctor's orders and whether they are acting in the best interest in the child."

"Obviously, this man's intentions are for his child," Welsh said.

The Hydes and doctors decided to wean the toddler off a cocktail of drugs that included, methadone, ketamine and morphine. Their son went through 30 rounds of radiation without one nausea or pain medication besides medical marijuana, according to his father.

Mike Hyde said doctors were unaware he was giving his son marijuana.

Doctors told the Hydes that Cash only had a 30 percent chance of surviving five years, and, at best, radiation could stop the tumor from spreading. But the toddler, whose second tumor was diagnosed in October, has not seen any recurrence. His parents chalk that up to the cannabis oil they administered to him twice a day since the second tumor diagnosis.

Mike Hyde said he traveled throughout Montana and California to obtain the cannabis oil for Cash. To figure out the proper dose to give to his son, he researched the suggested numbers for adults, "then gave the proportional dose for Cash's weight."

"Before he ever received any oil, I'd give myself 10 times the amount I was going to give him to be sure of the effects," Hyde said. "I came to the conclusion that this drug was safer than any other drug for him."

"No one can read this story without being happy for the child and his family; however, one cannot assume the cannabis oil is responsible for the remission or even the relief of pain," said Dr. Donna Seger, associate professor of clinical medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "He may be one of the fortunate few in which remission would have occurred no matter what treatment had been administered."

More than 14,000 Montana residents hold a license to use medical marijuana, according to the state's department of public health and human services. Under Montana law, a person under 18 can become a medical marijuana patient, but their parent or legal guardian must agree to act as the minor-patient's primary caregiver and control their use.

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