“Think About the Children” Goes Both Ways When It Comes to Marijuana

The issue of children and marijuana protections arose once again in the form of a proposed bill from Californiamedical marijuana Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). The senator wanted to get on the books more concrete ramifications for dispensaries who sold marijuana to underage clients. The bill proposed a tiered system in which first offenders would receive a 15-day license suspension, second-time offenders within a three-year period would receive a 25-day suspension, and a third offense in three years would lead to a full license revocation. SB-1451, however, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the bill “not necessary,” according tot a report from High Times. Gov. Brown pointed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and cited their power to suspend or revoke licenses based on these exact kinds of violations and said he would rather the bureau be able to use their own discretion in determining punishment.

In the numerous discussions surrounding the issue of cannabis laws in California and other states across the country, there has been an extraordinary amount of focus on children. Can they be recommended marijuana by a doctor? What is the punishment for selling to a minor? How can marijuana businesses advertise in a way that would not be seen by or not be appealing to children? How do we make the packaging child safe? How does cannabis affect developing brains and bodies? How far should a business be located from schools? The list goes on and on, and many of these issues can be addressed simply with the guidance of a skilled marijuana legal counsel.Some of these questions are practical, common sense measures that must be taken seriously in the development of a marketplace that revolves around a controlled substance. Others are strawman arguments used to inject old-school fear tactics in order to derail any conversation about marijuana. “Think about the children” has long been a crutch on many issues in which there is not a strong enough argument on one side of the aisle. No one is against child safety, so implying that one side is not thinking of the safety of children is a sure way to win some easy points. We are currently seeing this argument play out in debates over whether marijuana delivery services should be allowed to bring product to private residences in cities with sales bans. One would think a child would be whisked away into a life of crime and drugs at the site of a marijuana delivery van the way some cannabis attackers paint the picture.

We’re finally seeing some sanity prevail, though, particularly in regards to medical marijuana and children with debilitating disorders. SB-1127, which would allow parents to administer cannabis-based medicines to their children on school grounds, is awaiting the governor’s signature. Currently, parents have to remove their child from school property to give them such medication and then bring them back to school, a terribly disruptive process. Furthermore, a discussion about cannabis and children simply cannot occur without noting that the absolute only marijuana-based medicine so far approved by U.S. Food & Drug Administration is one designed specifically for children with severe forms of epilepsy. This makes these children the most legitimized users of marijuana in the entire country. It’s safe to say if a family with an epileptic child lived in an area of California cut off from easy access to dispensaries, they would be pretty excited to see that delivery truck coming down their street with their much-needed medicine.

Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys implore California’s leadership in their quest to protect children from marijuana that they also take equal time to think about the children who directly benefit from this life-changing medicine.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:

Governor Vetoes Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Pot Shops That Sell to Minors, By Patrick McGreevy, Sept. 10, 2018, Los Angeles Times

More Blog Entries:

Medical Marijuana for Children With Serious Medical Conditions, March 6, 2016, Cannabis Law Group

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