The Pediatric and Adolescent Medical Cannabis Rights Committee Formed To Insure Proper Access To Medicine and Scientific Education to Parents and Educators of Michigan’s Minors.
My Compassion, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has advocated for medical cannabis patients and education for over a decade has organized, The Pediatric and Adolescent Medical Cannabis Committee. Its mission is to advocate and protect the rights of children who use cannabis for a medical condition, Their goal is to assure that this vulnerable age group is protected against discrimination and that new policies be implemented to reflect the new cannabis laws.
Consisting of women from Illinois and Michigan, Chairperson, Heidi Knierim, and Members, Maureen Surin, Amie Carter and Jackie Petzold, the committee’s first move has been to draft a proposal given to Michigan Legislators asking them to consider sponsoring a Bill that will help K-12 Students who require cannabis while in school. Several other states including Illinois, Colorado and California already have this type of law in place.
This new state law would mirror “Ashley’s Law (IL HB4870)” which has been successfully in effect for 1½ years in Illinois. The impact of such a law would allow for statewide training for school nurses and the staff administering with collaboration between the Michigan Board of Education and the Department of Health. Currently in Michigan the way the Medical Marihuana Law and Drug Free School Ground rules are written, a child who is registered with the state to use cannabis would have to be removed one thousand feet from the school before they could receive medicine containing THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
The Committee recommends a Bill that will protect the rights of the child, parents, legal guardian, teacher, nurse, bus driver and any other person responsible for administering, stating the bill should also include protections for all school related activities the children participate in such as sports, field trips, bus rides, events and summer camp programs.
Maureen Surin said “the reason I agreed to join the committee and help with this legislation in Michigan is our 13-year-old daughter Ashley is a Leukemia survivor and 2 years seizure free on Medical Cannabis. She was able to stop using three pharmaceuticals once she started taking Medical Cannabis and modifying her diet. Thanks to Ashley’s Law (Illinois Senator Christina Castro and Illinois House Rep Bob Morgan) IL, she can now attend school with her friends where she belongs and have access to her Medical Cannabis as needed. “
Their reasoning is compelling: Children with asthma or allergies are able to access their necessary medicine on school grounds, while others could have grand mal seizures, another life threatening situation, requiring they leave the classroom, call a parent or legal guardian who must travel to the school, then taken more than 1,000 feet off school property to be administered their medicine.
“One child having to go thru this is one to many. This places an undue risk on both the child and parent not to mention the disruption to the class and teacher. This bill addresses the rights of these children and prevents them from life threatening delays the current laws place them under.” Says Knierim.
As with other medical conditions, education is an important component for the school districts. The committee and non-profit plan to continue to aid and support the necessary continuing education courses, and educational brochures with pertinent information on dosing, side effects, drug interactions and safety.
Links to Ashley’s Law – Initially signed into a Public Act in Illinois on August 1, 2019
Public Act 100-0660: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0660