Although America is warming up to the idea of marijuana legalization with 64% believing its use should be made legal, according to a Gallup poll, but this view is for mainly for adults. Some states have made strides by permitting access to children with certain ailments, yet doctors still feel uneasy about prescribing pot to minors. There is one state that is fighting to give children more access to the benefits of medical marijuana.
The Associated Press has reported that Republican politician Deborah Sanderson has put forth a bill that would grant Maine’s children access to medical marijuana. The bill allows children to be prescribed medical marijuana as well as access to even obtain it from medical providers on school property. The bill is scheduled to be discussed during a hearing on Wednesday.
Sanderson’s bill, which is available on the state’s website, does have its own stipulations. A child is required to have a longstanding relationship with the medical provider to be eligible for a prescription. Also, the child’s caregiver must supervise the allocation of the medicinal marijuana and permits it to be available at the child’s school, given it is in an acceptable form, such as CBD pills or vaporizer.
Also during Wednesday’s hearing, the Legislature’s health and human services committee will hear other updates regarding Maine’s current medical marijuana laws, such as the addition of opiate addiction to the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana license. The current conditions that qualify include Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, and more.
Maine is considered one of the more progressive states regarding marijuana. The state has had a medical marijuana program in place since 1999, and is one of eight states to have legalized recreational marijuana as well. Even though Maine is willing to prescribe children medical marijuana, Sanders wants kids to provide them with even more access. Many believe it can be dangerous to prescribe medical marijuana to children. Mainly the caution is due to the lack of research regarding the matter.
“In addition to unclear dosage guidelines, the lack of high-quality scientific data that medical marijuana benefits outweigh possible harm is a huge concern for providers accustomed to evidence-based practice,” said Kelly Michelson, MD. Michelson is the co-author of the above-mentioned study on doctors’ inclination to prescribe the drug. “We need rigorously designed clinical trials on the use of medical marijuana in children with cancer.”