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Lawmaker In Maine Wants More Access For Kids To Medical Marijuana

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By Tim Kohut

Despite medical marijuana’s increasing prevalence in today’s society, prescribing it, or, recommending it to children, remains a somewhat controversial subject. While some states like Texas has made the plant available for children with epilepsy, there are plenty of other benefits to medical marijuana for kids, but it’s just not that readily available. While, according to at least one survey, most doctors do feel uncomfortable recommending it to children for ailments outside of cancer and other terminal illnesses, it does appear we could see at least one state make a major change, as one Maine lawmaker wants kids to have more access to medical marijuana.

Maine Could Be Making a Change
According to the Associated Press, Republican politician Deborah Sanderson has proposed a bill that would allow children to be prescribed medical marijuana and even receive it from some medical providers on school grounds. Experts will discuss the bill at length during a Wednesday hearing.

Sanderson’s perceived bill, which is currently available on Maine’s website, mentioned the child would need to have a strong relationship with the medical provider in order to receive the plant as treatment. The incumbent law permits the child’s caregiver to possess and supervise the allocation of medicinal cannabis at the child’s school, provided that it remains in a non-smokable form such as CBD pills or vaporizer.

Final Hit: Maine Lawmaker Wants Kids To Have More Access To Medical Marijuana
New provisions regarding the accessibility of medical marijuana to children aren’t the only issue on the table. The Legislature’s health and human services committee expects to hear other updates to current medical marijuana laws in Maine. Including the addition of opiate addiction as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana license.

Current qualifying conditions in Maine include Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, amongst a variety of others.

Maine has utilized medical marijuana since 1999. Since then, it has been one of the more progressive states when it comes to the reformation of the drug. The state is also one of the eight states (including the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Maine is willing to prescribe children with this medication. But this Maine lawmaker wants kids to have more access to medical marijuana. However, there are some in the industry who believe it remains too risky to prescribe to children. This wariness is due to lack of research.

“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. She c0-authored the aforementioned study on doctors’ willingness to prescribe the drug. “We need rigorously designed clinical trials on the use of medical marijuana in children with cancer.”

Hopefully, if Sanderson’s new bill comes to fruition, more research will become available. And in turn, more children can reap the benefits of medical marijuana. But only time will tell.

Original Publication in High Times.