On Thursday night, the Discovery Channel's controversial reality show "Weed Wars" became even more controversial when a father administered medical marijuana to his five-year-old son in an attempt to ease his seizures.
According to "Weed Wars," Jason has tried to soothe his son Jayden's hour-long seizures since he was four months old. But after finding little success from traditional medication, Jason desperately turned to Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland and the focus of the Discovery Channel reality show.
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"I'm not trying to get my son high," said Jason on the segment. "I'm trying to cure my son's seizures."
In the episode, Jason administered a tincture of medical cannabinoid (CBD) orally with little resistance from Jayden. The CBD tincture he used was non-intoxicating, meaning that Jayden should not have felt any side affect or high.
But with loaded controversy surrounding the use of medical marijuana, critics are sure to be outraged anyway.
Since airing this fall, "Weed Wars" has aimed to shed light on the medical marijuana industry and dispel the myths and stereotypes that might surround it. The medical marijuana war is one that Harborside Health Care has battled for years, and the center drew national attention when it was hit with a $2.4 million tax bill from the IRS last October.
"What kind of drug trafficking organization actually files a tax return? None of them do," said Harborside CEO Steve DeAngelo to The Huffington Post. "The very fact that we filed a tax return and told the IRS all the details of what we are doing proves we are not a drug trafficking organization."
Harborside is certainly testing the limits of public acceptance with the recent episode, but DeAngelo claims that establishing trust is essential to the cause. In an article titled "Don't Call it Pot" in the New York Times, DeAngelo explained that maintaining a safe and legitimate environment is the cornerstone of the organization. "We want to make it safe, seemly and responsible," he said. "If we can't demonstrate professionalism and legitimacy, we're never going to gain the trust of our citizens," said DeAngelo. "And without that trust, we're never going to get to where we need to go."
Watch a clip of Jayden in Thursday's episode of "Weed Wars" below: