First Graders Possess Medical Marijuana Cards

Medical marijuana card

An example of an Oregon State medical marijuana card.

Written by: Jason Garoutte

No. That’s not a typo. Parents with children diagnosed with disorders and diseases like autism or leukemia are becoming more open to non-traditional treatments such as medical marijuana. There are currently 58 children in the state of Oregon who are covered under the state medical marijuana law which allows them use of the so called “gateway drug.”

All of us have probably heard the terms leukemia and autism before, but do we fully understand what challenges parents are faced with day in and day out with such disorders? Autism is a brain disorder that often makes it difficult to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. This leads to anti-social behavior, repeated types of behavior like body rocking, and becoming upset when routines change.

With one in every 88 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, more parents are searching for answers and treatments that work. One problem with autism is that there is no typical case. People can have many different types of behavior, from mild to severe. In nearly one in three cases, children with autism experience seizures or seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Although marijuana is not currently considered a treatment for autism by the medical profession, it is considered a treatment for seizures and mood altering behavior. So, what makes medical marijuana a safe treatment for children over the more traditional treatments?

The active chemical in marijuana is called THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol.) This is what gives marijuana its medical properties. In essence, the human body produces receptors that bind with THC, interfering with the brains neurotransmitter systems. This allows the recipient to feel various effects, such as reducing pain, limiting seizures, and lowering anxiety. In cancer patients, marijuana has been shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite, after receiving chemotherapy,

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of scientifically validated treatments. The use of medical marijuana to treat autism has not been tested and could be dangerous for children,” says Susan Martin, director of media relations at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although long term effects from marijuana have yet to be determined, using marijuana at such a young age may be detrimental to the child’s brain growth and development.

Traditional treatments for autism include special behavior training, speech therapy, physical therapy, and FDA approved drugs. Melatonin and Chelation are widely used, legal treatments for autism, where medical marijuana is only legal in 18 states.

There are many traditional treatments available to parents for children with these disorders that are safe, legal, and readily available across the nation. However, as a parent when you are faced with the challenges of raising a child with special needs, you may find yourself weighing the possible long term effects against the apparent short term benefits of non-traditional treatment, even if it involves allowing your child access to a medical marijuana card.

California NAACP Backs Pot Legalization Proposition

Seal of approval?

When I first heard about this, I thought, “Oh man. Here comes a tidal wave of tasteless jokes,” and that’s probably true, but it’s an issue worth thinking about, anyway. The head of California’s NAACP chapter has come out solidly in favor of the state’s latest citizen marijuana legalization effort, Proposition 19. I’ll give you a paragraph break here to quickly run through the possible jokes you might hear on late-night talk shows soon.

Okay. Alice Huffman, head of the NAACP’s California State Conference, says there is such a racial component to this issue that she can’t stay out of it. I will admit, I probably wouldn’t have thought of this angle if she hadn’t spoken up. But it’s true, and the numbers bear it out. In several California counties, black people get cited for pot more than whites at anywhere from twice to four times the rate. Given the ubiquity of pot use in general, I’d say she’s got a point that can’t be ignored.

There could be myriad reasons for this numbers gap. I don’t know what they all would be, but we could start with the possibility that marijuana use is more open or public within the black community. It may or may not be, but it’s a possible contributor. In any case, it’s definitely an angle worth throwing into the discussion.

Washington Pot Initiative Future Looking Grim

Marijuana sensibilities

Washington state’s latest marijuana legalization initiative is in jeopardy of not making the November ballot and the effort’s leader is blaming Democrats and other ordinarily pot-friendly organizations such as the ACLU.

To make the ballot, I-1068 supporters need to turn in nearly 242,000 valid signatures by June 30, but so far they have nowhere near that many. In a June 7 press release, a clearly upset I-1068 campaign director Philip Dawdy charges weak-kneed “armchair liberals” with not following through with financial support for the signature collection effort. Dawdy says people and organizations that should be pro pot legalization are keeping their distance in order to limit their political exposure.

The ACLU earlier this year issued a statement that it supports decriminalization of marijuana, but does not support I-1068. The initiative would make pot legal, but provides no real regulation of the drug, the ACLU says, and it would be unrealistic to regulate pot less than tobacco or alcohol. Marijuana, the rights group says, should be taxed and controlled like these other substances.

Initiative 1068 isn’t completely dead yet, although the signature deadline is mere days away. Sensible Washington, the group pushing the initiative, earlier this week paid to have petitions inserted into 80,000 copies of one of Seattle’s alternative weeklies, The Stranger. And Dawdy said in his press release that thousands of petitions still haven’t been returned. Maybe the signature gatherers have enough names but, aided by a bit of their cause, have procrastinated in turning in their homework.

Pot Poll: Forget The “Medical,” Just Give Us The Marijuana

Too hippie?

Cannabis Science, Inc., a biotech company focused on creating marijuana based medicinal products, is pretty pleased with current events in California, even after the city of Los Angeles announced it will be closing about 400 medical dope dispensaries. That’s because polls are showing 49 percent of the populace there supports full pot legalization, with just 41 percent against it. And those same citizens will likely be voting on that very question come November.

What’s more, the ranks of those in favor of full legalization, Cannabis Science believes, is bound to increase as outraged patients react to Los Angeles’ curious move.

If pot is fully legalized, it will make moot most of the challenges that medical marijuana businesses currently face — at least in the state of California. Cannabis Science, in particular, is trying to develop marijuana based pharmaceuticals for approval by the Federal Drug Administration. In a June 8 press release touting the poll numbers, company CFO Richard Cowan said the only way to protect patients is to fully legalize marijuana. It looks like the people of California agree.

The November ballot measure would legalize growing and consuming pot. The poll was conducted by the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California. The sample size was 1,500 and the margin of error is 2.6 percent.