Mothers recently gathered at the Roundhouse to fight for the acceptance of medical marijuana in schools. According to an emotional plea from both mothers, the lawmakers should allow medical marijuana on school grounds because it’s the only medication that works. Both mothers stated that medical cannabis is the drug that keeps their children alive. On October 25th, both mothers gained support from the Legislative Human Health and Services interim committee, which is advocating for new legislation.
It has been years since medical cannabis history began in New Mexico in 1978 after public hearings the Legislature passed the first law in the nation which recognized the medicinal value of cannabis called H.B. 329.
Patients who need to gain safe access to medical marijuana are still challenged with the need to bypass political, social and legal hindrances with advocacy by establishing policies that enhance secure access to medical cannabis for patients both at home and at school.
Families in New Mexico are being denied the right to administer medical cannabis to their children at school. These two brave mothers are fearlessly fighting for the rights of patients and also for the safe access and productive use of medical cannabis in schools, which is among the primary basis for the cannabis law of New Mexico.
Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT. — The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act was explicitly established to allow the productive use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for the treatment of symptoms due to devitalizing medical conditions and their medical procedures.
The children who are qualified for the state’s medical cannabis program should be treated similarly to other children who are enrolled in the state’s public schools and use other drugs at school. The main reason why both students have safe access to medical cannabis at school is due to medicinal necessities.
“Medically necessary” is interpreted as “health care services or supplies which can prevent, diagnose or cure an injury, sickness, condition, disease or its symptoms and that meet the required standards of medicine.” Medical necessity is a legal doctrine in the U.S., linked to actions that can be deemed knowledgeable, essential and suitable, depending on proven clinical standards of care.
There are currently six different states with comprehensive medical cannabis programs (New Jersey, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Illinois) that have conclusively established rules and regulations which permits school-age children to gain access to medical cannabis while attending public schools. Schools can successfully have access to federal funding while allowing safe access to medical marijuana at school.
Schools permit children to have access to different types of psychotropic medications, but a doctor must prescribe them. However, doctors are strict when it comes to prescribing medical cannabis — even though it has been scientifically proven to be more secure than psychotropic medications.
Currently, the Medical Cannabis Program of New Mexico has more than 60,000 enrolled members, including pediatric patients, with 35 licensed (nonprofit) producers cultivating 14,550 medical cannabis plants, as the program exceeds its 10th anniversary. In 2007, the Medical Cannabis Program was created as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, under chapter 210 Senate Bill 523.
This act was specifically created to allow the effective use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for relieving symptoms originating from devitalizing medical conditions and their medical treatments. The objective of the act must be respected, and children must be given the right to attend public school with medical marijuana.
Jason Barker is a medical cannabis patient and a safe access organizer in New Mexico. He currently resides in Albuquerque.