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Should Medical Marijuana be Legal for Minors?

11

From medicalmarijuanablog.com

Quite a while ago now we asked if any of you had used marijuana as a treatment for insomnia and, as usual, we had loads of responses. The one that touched us most, though, arrived fairly recently; with full consent of the writer, we reproduce it in full below:

Im 15 yrs old. I hav always had trouble getting to sleep, mainly because my mind doesnt stop at night, just like John said. So anyway for the last couple of months, which is when it has been worse than ever in my life, i will usually go on about one hour of sleep during a weekday.

As a matter of fact right now it is 5:40 am and i’m supposed to wake up for school in 20 minutes. Weed seems to be the only thing that helps for me, especially since I hate taking pills. The ONLY reason weed sometimes doesnt help is because I will stay up on purpose because I feel like I am wasting money if I just go right to sleep.

But anyway i have to tell about the time last week when i was really couldnt sleep at all no matter what i did. That day after school I went to the park with some friends. We smoked with a bong and then I went home. When I got home I ate a bowl of rice krispies and went to take a nap. I was hoping to sleep for maybe an hour, I slept for 13 hours, nuff said.

There can’t be many of us who haven’t experienced the soul-exhausting search for sleep our correspondent describes, growing every more panicky because the sky is rapidly getting lighter and we’re too worn out to face another day. Hands up — I’ve been so pooped that I’ve tried all sorts in an effort to get some shut eye; codeine, anti-histamine, whatever I can lay my hands on. But it’s a long time since I was fifteen and I don’t know how I would have coped with insomnia at that tender age.

So, the question for today is — should medical marijuana be legal for under 18’s?

A recent article in the New York Times debated this very topic. Citing weed names such as Kryptonite, Voodoo Daddy and Train Wreck as well as cannabis cookies arrayed below a sign saying, “Keep Out of Reach of Your Mother” the article contends that marijuana is aimed at adolescents now anyway.

We have to go to California for some facts:

California does not require doctors to report cases involving medical marijuana; no reliable data exist for how many minors have been authorized to receive it.
Dr. Jean Talleyrand, who founded MediCann, a network of 20 clinics in Oakland, said his staff members had treated as many as 50 patients ages 14 to 18 who had ADHD.
Then, we hear from Stephen Hinshaw, chairman of the psychology department at the University of California:

“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?’ He cited studies showing that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, disrupts attention, memory and concentration – functions already compromised in people with the attention-deficit disorder.

So we want to hear from you about this issue, which can only continue to grow in importance as more states become legal. As ever, your responses are as anonymous as you want them to be.

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11 Comments

  1. i am a 16 year old living with a severe case of leg calf perthies and have had 5 surgery’s on my hip and than developed nerve damage as a result now i have to walk with a cane when the pain is low but on a bad day i cant even stand and the doctors wouldn’t proscribe anything for me since i had become addicted to percoset when they gave it to me in 4th grade but one day when i was at school going threw withdrawal pains and being im my chair due to my original problem one of the staff members at the school noticed my pain and kept me bck when it was lunch time i was than introduced to marijuana because the staff member couldn’t stand to see me suffering daily or staring at walls blankly when i took my pills and so because of this Maricel of a plant i was than given this regularly from peers and other adults that wanted to help me and with every ones help i broke my addiction in a year and 6 months after that was able to protisepate in PE for small things like Frisbee and i was able to walk without my cane short distances now i am currently talking to my parents about getting my card because it is the only thing that takes away my pain safely but my mom keeps saying theres a reason its illegal why would it be illegal if it actually helps you and iv shown her everything i can to change her mind but her ignorance cant be fixed in this case so i am going a week without smoking to show her how different it is sadly theres no way for her to understand my pain but im thinking if she sees me reactiong to it every minute shell ask whats wrong and i can tell her this is what life is like for me without using marijuana and its been 3 days in and i don’t know if i can handle a whole week anymore witch just makes this harder because i cant keep medicating illegally or im sure something bad will happen not to mention i cant afford to buy my own medicine since no one wants a 16 year old disabled employee in there work place the other problem is iv ben smoking so long threw generous friends and dealers that feel sorry for me that my moms use to seeing me medicated more often than not so she thinks im lying about being in pain just so i can get drugs i live where minors can obtain there card with consent of a legal guardian and referral from 2 doctors the doctors wouldn’t be a problem if they look at my medical history and amount of thing we have tried to treat me with they would understand that i need cannabis i just need my moms aproval but from her point of view its a terabil thing that is going to make me hate life and becom a non responsive object that just sits there i have no clue what to do here but i need my medicine preferably legal

  2. Reynolds_nick55 on

    Im a 15 year old who had broken 4 ribs and is in serious pain.I take high dossage of percucet every day.And they dont work.And when i take more they just make me sick.i hate the pills so much.i smoked weed for the first time and it took all the pain away with no side effects.Besides getting the munchies.lol,but i think young teens who have serious pain or a serious condition to have medical marijuana.i live in ohio and i am so nervous to go to jail for a drug that works for me,i also have bad anxiety,every morning i wake up and have to take 2 pills of percs and and 2 pills of xanax,i just wanted to mention this,also the weed i smoked i was california becouse my step sister has a card and got it from a dispoensery from there,when she saw me in pain for the couple of weeks when she was visiting,she told me to take a hit and she said it should make me feel better.and it did,all i ask is if you can get back to me.i think marijuana is a miricale plant.it helped me so much for the two days i smoked it and took a pill of it.i think you should make marijuana legal for certain minors with cases as severe as mine.

  3. I’m 14. I am messed up. I know this doesn’t sound like an intelligent reply, but I just get super depressed some days. I began saving money for when they will legalize marijuana when I was 12, and I have $800 worth of money hidden in one of my drawers. We’d be the people who’d be spending money on this. Adults have lived to live without it.

  4. medmjinflanow on

    Anecdotal evidence that marijuana works to reduce symptoms of ADHD:

    I have adult-ADHD (age 39, dx age 5) and used marijuana in CA from 2006 until I moved to FL last year. I got med-marijuana for chronic shoulder pain and anxiety attacks. It helped both of these problems were lessened dramatically (anxiety attacks and unhealthy stress levels disappeared after only a few weeks of light to mod use. But surprisingly to me, after about 6 weeks I noticed a marked decrease in the symptoms of ADHD as well as depression (which shouldn’t be helped by MARIJUANA but I think the depression must have been caused by my ADHD issues and when ADHD decreased so did associated, depression). After 6mos I reduced my use of Rx for ADHD to min dose and was able to function without any of the symptoms of ADHD outside of what would be normal for anyone. Better yet after another few months I was able to stop anti-depressants all together.

    Unfortunately when I moved to FL, where MARIJUANA is illegal (and though I hate the law I’m not the type to break it either – to much risk) my ADHD symptoms became more profound again and the depression returned as panic attacks and after a 14 mos. is now constant without Rx.(ADHD Rx is same but at higher dose and Depression Rx’s are different but similar – just newer). To me this is proof that MARIJUANA works.
    Before MARIJUANA I had ADHD symptoms and associated depression even with 3 Rx’s

    With MARIJUANA after 6 mos. I had no ADHD symptoms with only min dose Rx. Plus after 9mos I had no depression or anxiety attacks without any Rx’s
    Now without MARIJUANA times 14mos all symptoms of ADHD and associated depression-anxiety are back – I am taking 3Rxs again & symptoms are still worse than with MARIJUANA and min dose ADHD Rx alone.

    I can’t speak to MARIJUANAs effectiveness in reducing ADHD symptom in adolescents in any evidentiary way as I’ve only had access to med. MARIJUANA as an adult but, I would support the hypoth. that it would work for them too.

    The real scientific test is how MARIJUANA affects dopamine receptors in the brain. We know that ADHD is directly impacted by how Dopamine receptors function. The counter intuitive use of stimulants like Adderall (amphetamine salts) and Ritalin to treat a person with ADHD (and who’s most notable symptom, at least in children and adolescents, is hyperactive) works because of how stimulants in low doses effect dopamine levels in the brain. So if it can be shown that MARIJUANA effects dopamine levels in the brain (weather directly as stimulants do or by manipulating serotonin or other related brain chemistry – as the newer ADHD Rx’s do) then the scientific/medical community will have to conclude as much anecdotal evidence (including my own) has shown that ADHD symptoms can be reduced significantly with MARIJUANA use.

    If anyone knows if and how MARIJUANA affects Dopamine levels and/or receptors I’d love to hear from you. Please Post It.

    Legalize Medical MARIJUANA Everywhere! (and for everyone who can benefit from it – Use MARIJUANA Not Big Pharm. Rx’s)!!!

  5. Cannabischuck on

    Proposition 215 does not have a exclussion for minors so I would see no reason to deny safe access…

  6. I am not advocating sending children to school stoned. With the proper dose, strain, and delivery, kids with many ailments would likely be better off in school than those being treated with Ritalin and other mood altering drugs. I completely believe cannabis is the Tree of Life and that it is for children as well as adults.

  7. I have adhd and as a child i was given all kinds of drugs to treat it. i would have felt much better about smoking some pot instead. as an adult i use marijuana to treat my adhd and it works much better for me than any of the stimulants i ever got from the doctor.

  8. I believe that if prescribed, no mater what age, it should be allowed. Now with that said, I do not like the Idea of our under-age going into a store and being able to buy it. It sends the wrong message plus they will most likely share it with there friends.

    It does affect the way you learn only when your stoned. If the kids only did it when they were out of school the only thing it would affect is Home-Work which most kids don’t do anyway.

    We need studies done with all ages and the effects on growth and learning, but if a child can not sleep and Cannabis is the natural way to sleep then they should seek it from a doctor. Because most other sleep aids cause neural decay and other growth issues.

    Cannabis Does Not, but like I said more studies need to be done.

  9. I think if you put age restrictions on it , it makes weed seem like it has side effects, and that its dangerous or something. Whats teh difference between a 14 year old being prescribed weed and a 28 year old that both have ADHD. I wish i could have been prescribed weed when i was younger. It totally would have helped. I was given rittalin and aderol…..i hated the way it made me feel. Weed would have worked wonders.

  10. I don’t think it should be available to anyone under 21 unless prescribed by pcp, not a dispencary Dr. This will only raise more issues on legalization. That we do not need .*<3*

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