‘Cannabis For Kids’ Legislation Filed In Indiana

INDIANA: State Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, expects her medical marijuana bill to be assigned to the “graveyard committee” again by the speaker of the House.

But a marijuana-related bill introduced by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Jean Leising, a Republican whose district includes southern Henry County, stands a much better chance of being enacted.

Errington is calling Leising’s Senate Bill 72 “a good step.”

Leising chaired an interim study committee that addressed whether cannabidiol (CBD) oil should be made legal for the purposes of treating seizures in children. The committee voted 10-0 in favor of proposed legislation (SB 72) aimed at providing immunity from prosecution to Hoosier doctors conducting trials on the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating seizures.

These Parents Are Fighting To Give Pot To Their Kids

FLORIDA: When Moriah Barnhart’s 2-year-old daughter Dahlia was attacked by intense tremors, fever and nausea in May 2013, she rushed the girl to a Tampa emergency room. A week later, after surgery for an aggressive and cancerous brain tumor, Dahlia couldn’t eat, walk or talk.

Three weeks later, her left side partly paralyzed, Dahlia was moved to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for experimental treatments. She soon stopped breathing, a device had to be implanted in her skull to drain excess fluid, and her chemotherapy drugs had spread sores throughout her mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Subsequent treatments caused nerve and brain damage, vomiting and weight loss.

Barnhart was determined to save her daughter’s life, but she agonized as the child struggled with pain and sickness. “You want to save your child. That’s your first and foremost instinct,” she said. “But after watching them suffer for so long it becomes a question of quality of life.”

Finally, after six months, Barnhart decided to try alternative treatments, ordering whole-plant extract cannabis oil sent to St. Jude’s and giving it to her daughter through a syringe. Dahlia, her mother said, awoke the next morning with a regular appetite after sleeping for more than a few hours for the first time in her life.

Moriah Barnhart

Dahlia Barnhart, who was given cannabis oil by her mother, Moriah.

Study Suggests Medical Marijuana May Do More Harm Than Good For Kids

MASSACHUSETTS:  The proclaimed benefits of medical marijuana seem to know no bounds. As state governments have finally started to embrace — or at least tolerate — the herb as a legitimate treatment for a range of physical conditions, from glaucoma to Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis, scientists have moved on to examining the drug’s effect on the brain. 

Whether marijuana can also treat psychological conditions has become the subject of debate. And while recent some studies propose — although not without dispute — that pot can ease adult symptoms of certain mental illnesses, like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, a new report in the February Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pedaiatrics essentially puts the kibosh on the suggestion that marijuana might assuage behavioral disorders in children.

Widespread changes to marijuana policy throughout the country have sparked growing interest in whether pot can be used to treat developmental and behavioral disorders, such as autism and ADHD. But in their paper published this week, four doctors from Boston Children’s Hospital point out that while marijuana’s harmful effects on the developing brain have been well documented, research on pot’s benefits for young patients is practically nonexistent. 

Numerous studies have tried to connect the dots between adolescent cannabis use and anxiety, depression, decreased intelligence and even psychosis, suggesting that while pot offers plenty of proven benefits, the developing brain of a young person might be particularly vulnerable to its harm.

Virginia Senate Approves Bill To Allow Marijuana Oils For Treating Epilepsy

VIRGINIA:  The Virginia Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow people with severe epilepsy to possess a form of medical marijuana without fear of criminal prosecution.

The measure would allow the use of two oils extracted from marijuana that lack the plant’s intoxicating properties but help alleviate debilitating seizures. The bill provides a way for epileptics or their legal guardians to avoid prosecution for possession of cannabidiol oil (also known as CBD) and THC-A oil.

Sponsored by Sen. David W. Marsden (D-Fairfax), the bill passed with near-unanimous support. Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) cast the lone vote against it.

Pot With A Purpose: Teller County Brothers' Marijuana Grown For Medical Benefits

COLORADO: Don’t tell the Stanley brothers that they’re drug dealers, or stoners, or whatever else comes to mind when you hear that they grow marijuana – and a lot of it – on their Teller County spread near Divide. [Read more…]