Age limits and medical marijuana

Do you have to be 18 to get a prescription for medical marijuana? I heard this recently, and was kind of surprised, because people under 18 can get other controlled substances with addictive properties and street value, from morphine to dextroamphetamines (some ADD kids who don’t respond to Ritalin may be given a trial of a dextroamphetamine), to Valium, which some epileptics whose seizures are very rare, take as a PRN, rather than take a daily medication.

So, if pot is illegal, why? is it because the delivery system (smoking) is considered too dangerous for a developing child? aren’t there THC pills? can kids use those?

There are edibles/oils, and yes. A show on the new network Viceland did its first episode all about children (mostly cancer patients) who are on medical marijuana. It’s a really interesting watch, although I don’t recall if they specifically discussed the legal aspect of your question.

They’ve also developed oils that are high in a compound called CBD (cannabidiol), but low in THC (which is what actually makes you high), that are supposed to still be effective medicinally. At least one of the families in the program was giving their kid that particular product.

Thanks for the info. It was kinda pissing me off to think that societal attitudes to “OMG! It’s a drug!” was keeping a valuable medicine from patients who might really need it, since food aversions that develop when people are on chemo can be a major problem in post-chemo health, and the longer your life expectancy after chemo, the bigger the problem. One thing marijuana does is prevent the nausea associated with chemo that causes food aversions.

My son got morphine when he broke his arm, and I can’t imagine someone saying “He can’t have that because he’s a child, and OMG! it’s a drug! Just say No!”

I suppose I can understand not letting kids smoke it, though, if other delivery systems are available, because their lungs are more vulnerable than adult lungs. If that is in fact the case. It could be the person I spoke to was just misinformed.

You guys hit the real motivation of Progressive- lower the age limit for EVERYTHING* once you legalize stuff.

  • You know what I’m talking about.

Actually, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

I have read articles—sorry, I can’t find links to the specific ones I’ve read, but there appear to be quite a few out there—that marijuana can seriously affect the developing brains of teenagers.

I think he means the age for social security eligibility.

There are a few studies saying that. However, because it’s illegal it’s very hard to perform well-designed, conclusive studies.
The real question is why marijuana is illegal at all. It’s basically an herb with useful properties and no other herbs are illegal.

Great post / username combo. Especially since spam is usually fried before serving. :slight_smile:

Looks like Oregon just changed her laws this month requiring that designated growers be over 21 years old. If you have the neighbor’s 14-year-old growing for you, you’ll have to find someone else. Otherwise all I’ve found is that minors have to have a designated person to sign for them (per this {PDF} Declaration for a Patient …).

<nitpick> kudzu is illegal in Oregon </nitpick>

Whenever I’ve heard of children getting medical marijuana, it’s usually CBD oil, which doesn’t get people high and has proven very effective for Dravet Syndrome, which causes progressive brain damage and seizures that usually do not respond to any other treatment. This oil is given orally in small quantities.

As for smokable marijuana, that is probably decided on a case-by-case basis.

There’s generally a trade-off any time you give a drug to a still-developing person. Children who have radiation therapy for leukemia get their leukemia cured, and have much better outcomes vis a vis, not having leukemia, than children who have chemotherapy alone, but radiation therapy often destroys their ability to make human growth hormone, so they have to take it artificially, and they have to be cancer-free for a certain amount of time (cancer loves it some HGH) before they can, meaning that for several years, they are significantly shorter than their peers. They are alive, though. They are more susceptible to some adult cancers, too, but they get to be adults, which considering that a childhood leukemia diagnosis was a death sentence up until about 1976, is pretty significant.

There are big trade-offs for seizure drugs for some kids too. Depending on how the kid responds, and what dose the kid needs, some seizure meds, can cause weight gain, fatigue, and poor memory. But some types of seizures can cause brain damage themselves, and just having seizures of any kind can interfere with school more than the fatigue and memory problems caused by seizure meds.

It’s too bad that we don’t have better data on marijuana and child development, because it would be nice if people could make choices based on facts and not scare tactics. Marijuana may affect developing brains, but what it does may not be terribly serious compared to going through cancer without it.

There are two somewhat contradictory schools of thought regarding medical marijuana. One school says, “Treat it like any other medication.” This view, while often well-intentioned, is tainted by the people who wish very strongly to use vague claims of pain issues as a cover to obtain pot. There is an interesting correlation here to medicine–there are a handful of doctors who will give a medical card to just about anybody, just in the same way that a handful of doctors hand out long-established pain medications like candy to just about anybody.

The other school of thought says, “Regulate it like we regulate alcohol.” This school, while also well-intentioned, has “bleed-over” from the commercial side of marijuana, and is influenced heavily by the thought and perception of marijuana as an illegal drug, and the same argument is sometimes used by people who wish to legalize other drugs as well.

What is happened is a somewhat unintentional combining of the two. Some aspects of the regulatory system treat medical marijuana more or less like any other medical issue. Other aspects treat it more like liquor stores, adult bookstores, etc., are treated (a dispensary must be X number of feet from schools, etc).

And then to complicate things even further, you’ve got the oils and other products that are explicitly designed to be therapeutic in nature, so they are very, very low in THC, and on the other hand you’ve got the modern, potent strains designed for smoking.

My cite is that I’ve lived in Colorado for a long time, and I’ve seen this play out over the last several years.

I think these should be treated like any other medication. They should be studied and go through FDA approval.

The plant? Come on, it’s a plant. If you want to eat, smoke, or grow plants, that should be up to you. If a doctor thinks it might help your symptoms, he/she can suggest you try it.