Feb 182012
 February 18, 2012

Medical marijuanaShould Kids Be Allowed To Use Medical Marijuana?

The issue of kids and medical marijuana is a very touchy subject. I remember when they showed a child’s father on the show ‘Weed Wars’ obtaining medical marijuana for his suffering kid. The media firestorm was almost instant. Many media outlets tried to paint it as ‘a bad parent forcing his child to smoke pot’ but there was so much more to the story. The child was suffering, and his dad was purchasing a smokeless form of cannabis per a doctor’s recommendation. The media often forgot to mention those details.

How do TWB readers feel about kids using medical marijuana? If it’s not smoked, such as a tincture or medible, is there really a big deal? Is it any different than giving them any other type of medicine. This is a question for parents and non-parents, conservatives and liberals. It really surprises me that this issue is only reported on in an explosive manner, and not talked about rationally.

On the other side of the coin, should teenagers be allowed to possess medical marijuana cards? What should the criteria be? In Oregon, if a minor has the signature of their parent and doctor, they can obtain a medical marijuana card. If you watch the videos below, you will see that there are many states with this provision. I won’t lie, it makes me uncomfortable when I hear about dozens of high school students in Ashland, Oregon flashing medical marijuana cards at school to get out of trouble. I don’t know each student’s story, but it seems kind of far fetched that there is that much pain and suffering among high school students in Southern Oregon. I’m worried that such stories will make a joke out of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and be used against legit patients to take away their program.

On the flip side again, the laws that govern high school students in regards to marijuana are outdated and far more harmful to the student than marijuana is. So maybe me being uncomfortable is unfounded. What do TWB readers think? Should kids be allowed to use medical marijuana? If so, when? In only the most extreme cases? Or do you think it’s no big deal and that it should be entirely up to the parents? Like I said, it’s a sensitive subject, but those are the topics that I like to talk about most. Time to rip the band-aid off and get discussing!

 

 

 

 

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Gimreefer

    yes i would give it to any of my kids as they get old enough to understand i have told about cannabis and why they should use it.

    • John R. Smith

      You say why they SHOULD use it? I hope you mean, the situations and circumstances in which it is acceptable to use it as long as you use it in moderation… If you are TRYING to get your kids to smoke pot you are clearly a loser.

      • Bruno

        “If you are TRYING to get your kids to smoke pot you are clearly a loser.” -John smith…. Learn to have a proper debate, and do not put words into peoples mouth. Like i said before if you can not give a reasonable, logical, POV as to why kids shouldnt smoke/eat/inhale then, your argument is invalid. I do agree that for the kid to smoke/eat/inhale he/she has to know what the it will feel like, and what the benefits are, but that depends on the individual that’s why to put an age limit would be useless because it takes away freedom to the individual, just as the regulations with alcohol do. Inform the public about drugs in a scientific way, and not in a reefer madness propaganda bullshit.

  • staci

    Just as long as their old enough to know better why not,I mean there are so many critics out there who do it themselves but intentionally point out other people and critize them for doing it. All I have to say is people get over it and legalize it so there will be no more pain

    • John R. Smith

      Kids brains are still forming until age 25, thus, any substance that affects their behavior affects them permanently. However, when used in moderation after this age, there are rarely any problems for people. It is the ABUSERS who are the problem…

  • Alice

    In my opinion marijuana should be used in children. It’s a safer alternative than prescription medications! The stigma that marijuana is a hard drug tends to cloud the minds of those who are uneducated. Most of these uneducated probably wouldn’t bat an eye if a doctor prescribed their children Adderall, a METHamphetamine that is highly addictive and basically prescription meth. Id also like to say that in the article it mentioned that the author thought that it seemed “farfetched” that these teenager were victims of pain and suffering. I agree with that in the respect that there will always be those who make up an illness to obtain a card, but I’d also like to argue the point with my opinion that marijuana helps with “ADD/ADHD”.

    • John R. Smith

      LOL. So kids go from bouncing off the walls to scraping themselves along the floor headed towards the fridge! Yeah thats much better. LOL J/k.

  • thomas

    i think teens should be aloud t use canibus 4 add/adhd

  • Roscoe Biggs

    When i was a child I was treated with all kinds of colored pills to treat my ADD (this was back in the 60’s) when I turned 13 I discovered Marijuana,I stopped taking these little pink pills with the heart shape and began self medicating and have been doing just fine ever since,,my 2 cents worth…..PEACE

  • Loc Da Smoke

    If people get outraged over children who need medical marijuana to deal with their ailments, the people should be even more outraged when doctors prescribe them synthetic pharmaceutical medicines. I’m a parent and if my child had epilepsy like that one kid on weed wars did or if my child had cancer I wouldn’t hesitate to give my child cannabis extracts to help them get better. Cannabis is safe medicine and should not be controversial at all. Even if it’s not used for medicine, when my child is old enough, I would rather have my child learn about cannabis than alcohol or tobacco because it’s a whole lot safer

  • http://wedblog.com zachary everett

    I can’t see why the prescribed use of medical marijuana for children should be problematic, and the delivery method should be left up to the doctors and parents. There are so many current prescription drugs with well noted side effects being given to children at the moment that I find it hard to believe how the use of medical marijuana should be treated as a scandal.

  • http://oldcatman-xxx.com/ OLDCATMAN

    READ MY BLOG ON THIS SUBJECT………

    http://oldcatman-xxx.com/?p=4358

  • bruno

    Why shouldn’t anyone be allowed to smoke marijuana? what is so BAD about getting high? does it hurt anyone? does it hurt YOU? does it makes your life happy? yes. does it help you with some diseases? yes. There shouldn’t be any debate on this issue. It’s just a plant that gets you high and/or makes your illness go away for a few hours or control it. WE first have to think about what’s the problem with getting high, if there’s no harm to be in such state of consciousness then, i don’t see any problem with it.

    • John R. Smith

      College dropout rates are often linked to excessive marijuana use, and excessive marijuana use is often linked to being a cardholder. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan and advocate myself, but my life would have been smoother in some ways without pot. I should have waited until I was at least 25 years old before I started smoking – that is my current belief.

      • Rick

        Prove your point with data to back your claims or admit you are a liar. I’m tired of people repeating the same old reefer madness lies over and over and expect us to believe it just because they say it’s so.

        • Bruno

          Exactly! i agree with Rick.just because of YOUR personal experience with marihuana hasnt been all that great then, that does not mean that it’s the same for everyone. Plus, marihuana relieves stress and depression in users bc of the euphoria that you get from smoking the plant, so i find it very hard to believe, and even more without any data nor any personal testimonies from people that use it, that you will drop out of school, college, or work. If you can give me one, LOGICAL, reason why to be in a “high” state of consciousness is bad, and i mean bad in a harmful physical or psychological  way, not from a religious POV(which is where conservatives cherry pick their moral rules), then we can start talking.

    • John R. Smith

      I guess it is just kinda whack that ALL of you came on here and posted ONLY positive opinions about this. If we, the users of this plant, are not willing to admit that it has dangers, as well as benefits, then the other side will continue to ridicule us and keep us down. But what if we were honest with ourselves and with others and we tried to figure out how to use MMJ properly and responsibly? (Isnt that what the alcohol industry is currently doing with their DRINK RESPONSIBLY media campaign? We should do the same!)

      • Rick

        It’s one thing to be honest. It’s another thing to post lies and assumptions. If you cannot back your data then don’t post.

  • RiPto

    I am not a medical cannabis user but I used marijuana for the past 6-7 years., I consider myself a responsible non-medical patient.,
    When I become I parent I would like to tell my children marijuana is safe. My words may not be right but I understand the history off cannabis/ marijuana and toke for a day of pure legalization and decrimaliztion.
    The question of rather or not to give kids or teens the freedom to use, posses, toke, or smoke the reefer
    Under parents say so is “far out fetch” under the hipacritcle law of mind. If that makes since?
    I speak for every young responsible adult that we should have the freedom of cannabis.,
    I live in Texas where you gotta be a ninja to get a toke that’s If. You got the majority of ppl that live here brain washed from reefer madness. I had to find the truth and begin searching for answer a found that this is a plant not a drug.,
    Please excuse my young mind and this uneducated piece I wrote it’s difficult to explain that young ppl can enjoy cannabis/ marijuana responsibly.., I respect all medical patient with real life threting cuditions and support medical use of the plant we don’t need lab rats to discover this plants use.., OnE love

  • CO Buddyboy

    Watch Generation Rx (available on Netflix streaming) before trying to answer this very relevant question. I agree with the mother in the first video that cannabis is a much safer alternative to use over a dangerous drug like Ritilan. Our children are our future and their health must be among the highest of our concerns. I think – like the point of the movie – that ADD and ADHD are highly suspect “diseases” dreamed up by the drug companies and foisted on the public as a public health “problem” by doctors (psychiatrists) who should (and do) know better. Doctors should be prescribing/recommending the LEAST harmful substances first and cannabis is one of the least harmful substances known to humanity.

    We are backwards in our approach. First of all, when teachers get frustrated with students and “diagnose” them with ADD/ADHD little red flags should be going up all over the place for us as parents. Clearly, doctors have been compromised by drug company pill pushers and parents are in the difficult position of trying to figure out what is “normal” behavior and what is deviance far enough from the norm that that behavior that drugs of any sort are indicated. Then, once a child of any age has been determined to be so far out of the norm for behavior and ONLY then should safe medication be considered for the child. Cannabis would be a starting point. If the deviant condition was successfully treated by cannabis – end of story. As parents, we should be very suspicious of anybody – especially our pediatrician apparently – who tells us that a medical intervention is warranted for our child. Deviance from a norm should be FAR from center before we consider drugging up our children…

    What ever happened to the oath that all doctors take that says “First, do no harm”?

    • John R. Smith

      You are suggesting that kids who have ADD smoke pot and then go to school and try to learn? You see why I’m poking fun at you right? I agree that ADD is a “lazy” diagnosis when the real problem is usually some underlying trauma or emotional condition, however I dont think cannabis is the right substitute.

      Come on people! Again, I am an advocate but I also believe we need to frame MMJ in a real context rather than simply saying “It’s wonderful!” or “It’s terrible!” There is always a middle ground and cannabis lands right smack in the middle of it. Let’s get serious about policing our own movement. No kids on MMJ unless they are dying or in absolute pain. No trafficking to non-patients. If we cannot prevent ourselves from abusing the compassionate care laws, then the government will step in and take it away from us.

      • Joe Wolf

        There is a point to what you say about kids on medical marijuana, but its more about political correctness than it is about the actual science behind cannabis as medicine.

        Now the use of the precautionary principle in medicine is good practice. The fact is however that we know more about marijuana than we do about ANY FDA approved medication. We know that cannabis works a lot better than many conventional medications for certain illnesses and not all of these need be life threatening.

        If i had a child with Crohns disease for example, they are getting marijuana because its the most effective treatment for that illness. In some cases marijauna can be an effective for treating the symptoms of autism without the side effects of the dozens of medications often prescribed to “control” autistic children. If my kid has his head knocked around and I suspect a concussion he, he will get marijuana (for its very potent neuroprotective properties). If my kid is puking everywhere, cannabis first because its fast acting, the oral anti-emetic will come after the puking stops.

        I think that the cultural perceptions of a drugs use often impact the way that drug is used in that society, especially when those drugs are not addictive. So your use of cannabis, which seems to have demotivated you and made your life more difficult is a part of your expectations of the drug. People on sativa strains of cannabis are much more capable of being productive than those on indica based strains, the sativa is uplifting and revitalizing while the indica tends to induce sleepiness and inactivity.

        Cannabis *should* be in every medicine cabinet in 3 forms, a topical cream, a tincture, and dried buds/hash.

        I don’t really think there is much of a middle ground between wonderful and terrible, its pretty exclusively wonderful considering the following. Cannabis acts like no other drug we have ever discovered, in fact it prompted the discovery of an entirely new bodily system, appropriately named the cannabinoid system. What is special about this system? Well its primary role in the body is to maintain homeostasis, you switch it on and healing takes place. If you have high ocular pressure for example, turning on the cannabinoid system will send a signal to reduce ocular pressure. In the case of Chron’s disease activation of this system causes the ulcers formed to spontaneously close. The other unique thing about the cannabinoid system is that its present in every part of your body except the brain stem, so it will not interfere with vital bodily functions. Its also entirely nontoxic. As I mentioned before its a neuroprotectant, but it is also a very potent NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory). Some cannabinoids induce apoptosis in cancer cells (kills them), and prevent angiogenesis in tumors (keeps them from growing a blood supply). Furthermore cannabis can be used topically to treat MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph, because of the natural anti-bacterial properties of cannabinoids.

        Medical cannabis IS amazing. There is no question about it.

  • anomylous

    it’s worth noting that cannabis tinctures and extracts were the primary form of medication in the late 1800s and early 1900s. everybody, including children, took comparatively massive doses for practically any ailment and nobody noticed a problem. since our country is obviously not afraid of chemically abusing children (anti-depressants, add/adhd, obesity) why should we be worried about drugging them with something that after generations of historical and now decades of ‘modern’ use still hasn’t had a recall because the safety studies were flawed or doctored.

  • Pam

    Why is it socially acceptable to give our young people prescriptions for antidepressants which have been shown to cause SUICIDE… yet our society frowns upon this harmless PLANT?!!! Time to reevaluate!!! I’m hoping by the time my own children are teens and young adults cannabis will be legalized and they’ll have the more holistic options to treat mental/physical ailments. The choice that I haven’t had yet. :(

    • John R. Smith

      Children’s brains lack the “planning” abilities of adults due the prefrontal lobe being incomplete prior to age 25. At age 25, they have full mental capacity including planning things like doing their homework first and smoking pot second. Prior to that, they are impulsive and do whatever feels good, unless disciplined by “extrinsic” rewards or punishments. Thus, lets just keep MMJ out of their hands. If they have a serious disease, they will receive all kinds of life-skills training and counseling usually, and so MMJ usage can become a part of that rehabilitiation process.

      • shawn

        You are a complete moron and so ignorant it funny also its pathetic

  • Graham

    I hate watching video’s about medical mary-jane… Because I wish I had that much!

  • http://mygreenbee.com Green Bee

    Tinctures are the way to go with Children. Children don’t have to SMOKE pot to gain the benefits from it. All Children that have a valid VOD (Verification of Disease) that falls under their state law should entertain MMJ or Medical Cannabis as a viable alternative. Autism, Bi-Polar and other disorders have shown some great headway in certain studies. Epilepsy is another area I would strongly encourage the use of MMJ. The side effects of the Pharmaceuticals currently prescribed to children with seizures over a long term time line are devastating. Wake up Doctors – MMJ is organic and have non-evasive side-effects. GW Pharmaceuticals is on its way with Sativex and others will follow. It’s not a question of if, it’s more a question of When?
    Using a tinctures will eliminate all the doorway drug naysayers and keep the conversations moving forward..

  • marquise

    yes they should let kids have medical weed

  • malcolm kyle

    Help us to stop this evil weed from kidnapping our kids and implanting them with weird and strange ideas!

    We just need to throw a few more trillion dollars at this. Give the police total power and proper weapons – like Death-Rays that work on large crowds. Take away forever what’s left of everybody’s stupid rights and liberties. Indulge ourselves in even more wishful thinking or bizarre pseudo-science, then, before more hippies or the pathetically ill & dying get a chance to corrupt and endanger our truly pure and caring society with their evil plants, send all our children to Newt’s Moon Colony of re-education to be taught about marital fidelity.

  • Vonna

    Yes, I don’t have kids but I think with certain medical conditions, it is a healthy choice. There are lots of chemicals in Marijuana for example: CBC, CBL, CBD, CBE, CBG, CBND, CBN, CBT, and more. But the media only likes to glorify THC because it is the main chemical with psychoactive inherent. I think just like the case with the little 4 or 5 year old boy with the really bad seizures that the father tried 11 or 12 different prescription medicine and he needed to help his son. There is more than one form of marijuana, liquid, pills, edibles. So if it actually is needed and it helps, most definitely.

  • Brian Grimmer

    It is far safer for children than Adderal or Ritalin and is just as effective in treating ADD and ADHD.

    • Kaz

      I completely agree. I have used both of these medications and they did not work as well as cannabis.

  • John R. Smith

    I have noticed that people are the most compassionate when a patient is nearing death from a serious illness. I did not see this documentary, but I assume a father willing to give MMJ to his child on camera, the child must have some debilitating disease. The problems with cannabis on kids are the same as any other substance – their brains are still developing and pot can change their behavior in such ways that they might never realize their full potential if they use pot during critical years (like any time before the age of 25, according to some reports). If this child is dying, the child has nothing to lose, and compassionate care is the most important thing. However, if the father is simply a rebel who belives big government is bad and he gives his kid pot as a rebellion, then that father should go to jail. No one should drink alcohol or smoke pot heavily or regularly before the adult brain is fully formed, which is about 25 years old for most people.

    • Joe_Wolf

      I am pretty sure that the scientific backing for your claims is on shaky ground. You see alcohol destroys brain cells, it is outright poison to your mind and body, many drugs are like this too much can start causing harm rather than good. Such is no the case with marijuana, it has no toxic effects and is in fact a neuroprotectant, so it keeps the brain from being damaged (for example a marijuana smoker who uses alcohol will experience less mental decline from the alcohol use, though significantly more intoxication). The effect it has on memory only applies to short term memory (more specifically your working memory) and only lasts as long as intoxication does.

      If you are worried about amotivational syndrome, such a thing has contradictory empirical backing and support from laboratory studies. I know of no CT or MRI scans that can detect a marijuana user based on damage done to the brain or changes in normal thought patterns (except that would show up while intoxicated). So we really have no way to know how marijuana effects minds which are still developing. And then of course I can call into question the entire idea that the mind ever stops developing, because while plasticity is greater in children, the adult brain is far more plastic than we have previously realized.

      I would think the reason you take up this argument (the government knows how to instill drug propaganda for one) but is because it appeals to two things, your innate sense of precaution, which is laudable, and the *children* just think about the children. So you must protect the children, from harms real and imagined, and the harm to the developing mind caused by cannabis is in my opinion mostly imagined. I have seen people go down the shitter starting with cannabis before, but it wasn’t cannabis that did it, it was their so called friends and the ideas that those friends shared with them. A dream of lazing about and doing nothing with your life. Cannabis might make you a little more receptive to the idea of doing nothing productive, but its not enough pressure in itself to drive you from the path to success, not with all the other pressure (friends, family, and community) that *should* be pushing you to become a success.

      But to go your your example of the rebellious father, lets change the situation a tad. The kid has a stomach virus and cant keep food down. A couple puffs of marijuana and you can get some soup into him right away and help him off to sleep with the same medication. Its a damn better treatment than trying to get him to keep down an oral administered anti-emetic, and if you administered a sativa strain of cannabis you could probably help him catch up on his homework that he missed once hes come down a little bit from the euphoric effects.

      Oh and to top it ALL off the only psychoactive chemical in marijuana is THC, and they have medical marijuana that has a low THC content, and a high cannabidiol content (cannabidiol counteracts some of the euphoria casued by the THC in marijuana) so you dont get high.

    • Astewart

      If you are worried about brain development, you should add the prescription mood altering drugs mentioned in this article first and foremost to your list of things that developing brains should not have….

  • Joe_Wolf

    Cannabis is: A neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anti-biotic (topical) anti-convulsion, anti-seizure, anti-diarrhea, anti-oxidant, a cancer treatment, and so much more. Why we have this compunction about not letting children even come close to it is beyond me (no really I just blame our governments propaganda war, making us think that cannabis is bad for kids).

    I view marijuana as a first line of treatment in many cases, not as a medicine of last resort.

    • Kaz

       I agree with Joe Wolf. I am 17 and I have severe depression and
      stomach/digestion issues. Cannabis is like the cure all for both of
      these things in my case. i can eat and keep my food down when i am using
      cannabis and of course (when using cannabis) my depression is not even
      an issue. Unfortunately I live in a state with SEVERE marijuana
      penalties so its hard for me to get my MEDICATION, and my parents (dad
      and step-mom) are of course 100% against the idea of me using cannabis
      in ANY FORM. They have labeled me as deadbeat stoner even though i am 17
      years old and a sophomore (almost junior) in COLLEGE. My real mother is
      the only one who supports the use of medicinal cannabis but she lives
      in a different state and I do not get to see her all that often. I would
      be lying to you if i said i didn’t occasionally smoke for “recreational
      purposes” but for the most part my use of cannabis is for medicinal
      purposes. I guess my thing is that i refuse to be doped up on anti
      depression and stomach medications when there is a safe and natural
      alternative to solving my issues.  Its just a shame that i cant get
      access to the medication that allows me to live a comfortable life.

  • Kaz

    I agree with Joe Wolf. I am 17 and I have severe depression and stomach/digestion issues. Cannabis is like the cure all for both of these things in my case. i can eat and keep my food down when i am using cannabis and of course (when using cannabis) my depression is not even an issue. Unfortunately I live in a state with SEVERE marijuana penalties so its hard for me to get my MEDICATION, and my parents (dad and step-mom) are of course 100% against the idea of me using cannabis in ANY FORM. They have labeled me as deadbeat stoner even though i am 17 years old and a sophomore (almost junior) in COLLEGE. My real mother is the only one who supports the use of medicinal cannabis but she lives in a different state and I do not get to see her all that often. I would be lying to you if i said i didn’t occasionally smoke for “recreational purposes” but for the most part my use of cannabis is for medicinal purposes. I guess my thing is that i refuse to be doped up on anti depression and stomach medications when there is a safe and natural alternative to solving my issues.  Its just a shame that i cant get access to the medication that allows me to live a comfortable life.

    • Robert Pelletier

      I have found a legal Alternative. Herb that is hundred percent legal everywhere.

  • Banderson86

    My testimony of my brother’s life and my own should be proof enough for anybody how devastating other man made perscription drugs can affect a youth’s life. My younger brother was ADHD to the max while growing up. He was prescribed the usuals, adderall, ritalin, etc. As we got older, I began to wonder why he was so physically different from me and my older brother. He was always 40 to 50 pounds lighter than his older brothers. Why? After I did some research on his prescriptions, I suggested to him that he get off of them. As he quit taking them and began ingesting canabis, his grades went up, he neared what genetically speaking would be his ideal weight(Which really isn’t that much, 180 for someone 5′ 10″ if you’re wondering), and I for sure felt like killing him a whole lot less! As for myself,  I was put into counseling when my parent’s relationship started to fall apart. I was prescribed numerous mood altering prescription ranging from depicote, to prozac, to nortryptaline. Not one of them  really helped me. They actually created  a high of their own, distracting me more from my shoolwork and relationships with the people in my life. I began consuming canabis in my early teen years and found it dramatically more effective than the legal drugs given to me by my doctors and counselor. Unannounced to my parents, I quit taking my prescriptions. After a month or so, I broke the news that I no longer neded them. I admit my mother was not too pleased with my illegal alternative, but she was not blind to the reality that the canabis was helping me. Canabis has done nothing but help me realize how wonderful life is.

  • Britteny

    My five yr old suffers from severe ADHD ! He was prescribed adderall(prescription speed) a controlled substance. As a recovering addict 1 day of meds for him was enough to prove I would only be making his battle a war . I am looking for a dr to prescibe medical marijuana for him. Also my mom has MS. She is still functioning normal due to smoking marijuana has helped form a bridge over damaged nerves allowing them to carry out their messages. I love my mom and for that I love you marijuana

  • Lonewolf

    I have ADHD. Plus joint damage. I have found a legal herb. It’s not hash. It works really really well. If you’d like to know more. Respond. To this.