|Coombs. We haven't|
managed to find any picture
that we can verify is, in fact,
a picture of Morris.
If you really want to see an array of quackery in real life like you’ve never seen before you may seek out the anti-vaxx crowd’s annual quackfest Autism One, though you need to be discrete – they are pretty wary of letting in people who have a record of promoting science. Many of the talks and presentations there are devoted to alleged remedies for autism – none of them even remotely connected to reality or real research, of course, and there seems to be few restrictions on what level of insanity is considered acceptable. Take Nathan Coombs and Rhonda Morris’s contribution to the 2011 meeting. Coombs and Morris promote the use of medical cannabis for autism, which I suppose sounds sufficiently zeitgeisty to have the potential for a modicum of popularity. Evidence of efficacy? No, you see, the presentation “is a parent’s personal perspective on the use of medical cannabis on their children with autism, and its effectiveness on symptoms.” Evidence has got nothing to do with it.
Coombs and Morris represent the Autism and Compassionate Care Connection, an organization devoted to “offer individuals with autism and their families a holistic alternative,” meaning cannabis. According to their website they “are highly compassionate and educated professionals with many years of experience” … but none of them have any background in medicine or science. A “Bachelors degree in Spanish Linguistic” or “an Administrative Credential from California State University San Bernardino” isn’t really quite the same.
Diagnosis: Their influence seems to be pretty limited, but they sure give us a good example of the amazing range of quackery and crackpottery that prey on parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Complete shit.