Meagan Holt, mother of four-year-old Maddie, took a front seat at the Olympia, Washington committee hearing urging lawmakers to decide on a ruling that will allow sick children medical cannabis at school.
Holt told The Cannifornian that cannabis keeps Maddie alive. She carries a syringe filled with cannabis oil at all times. Maddie suffers from Zellweger Syndrome, a terminal disease. She was born blind and deaf and has many health complications. Babies suffering from this disease usually die shortly after they are born, but Maddie has survived because of medical marijuana.
Lawmakers hear testimonies
The lawmakers heard parents such as Holt testify how medical marijuana help their children cope. House Bill 1060 would allow a parent or guardian to dispense medical cannabis at school, a school event, or on a school bus. Schools would not be required by law to allow on-site medical marijuana use but may allow it by choice.
Those supporting the measure explained that what they are asking for is not a scary thing. These kids have been through so much. Why not allow them to go to school and make friends? They take controversial medicine because they have tried everything else, and nothing else worked.
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Not different to any other medication
Republican Sen. Joe Fain said he sees no difference between giving a child at school opioid pharmaceuticals or medical marijuana. School districts will create a policy that allows kids to use marijuana products, but not smoke marijuana, under the new measure.
Josh is autistic and self-harms
Many patients could be helped by a bill governing medical cannabis at school. Josh Mitchell is among them. He is the 16-year-old autistic son of Joy. Josh was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome and would self-harm by banging his head on the ground. He also threatened his brother with a knife. Joy saw no other way than to have Josh institutionalized.
One squirt and all is well
A doctor prescribed cannabis oil and Josh takes it every two hours. He just squirts it under his tongue. It keeps him completely calm, and he can even concentrate on a game of chess. Joy says the change was drastic; it happened really fast.
The year before, educators told Joy they couldn’t handle Josh any longer, and Joy wasn’t sure she could handle him either. The cannabis medication has helped a lot. Josh is back at school and making progress. However, he only goes to school for half the day as he can only miss a single dose before he becomes upset.
A full day of classes
Joy would like Josh to be able to attend school for the full school day. A few states have already approved laws allowing medical cannabis at school.
The chief sponsor of the original Minnesota bill says that now that he is aware of the need it should be easy to make the adjustments. Senator Scott Dibble is drafting the bill and is hopeful it will be passed this session.
Medical cannabis at school: school boards follow the law
The Minnesota School Boards Association currently says it prefers medical marijuana to be administered and stored off campus.
Josh attends Crosslake Community School. When questioned by the press, Executive Director Todd Lyscio, said the school must adhere to public school regulations which explicitly state that no school in Minnesota can have medicinal cannabis on campus or at school events.
Clearly, there are fears that youngsters might share their meds with their friends or else lose them by accident, but if parents come to the school and dose the kids under supervision, that won’t happen. Kids would benefit from mixing with children their own age, and their education would be as complete as possible given their health conditions. Why hold these kids back? Let’s hope that parents will be able to get their message across.