Kids’ Use Of Medical Marijuana Stirs Debate
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Kids’ Use Of Medical Marijuana Stirs Debate

Minors using medical marijuana sparks debate from the scared soccer mom mentality

Only 52 people under age 18 legally use medical marijuana in Montana. That’s not even 2 percent of the total. Yet the debate over its future keeps circling back to kids. “The No. 1 goal is to reduce access and availability to the young people of this state that are being sent an incorrect message that this is an acceptable product for them to be using,” Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, said recently in arguing for repeal of Montana’s medical marijuana law by the 2011 Legislature. “It’s a serious problem, no doubt about it,” Jim Gingery, executive director of the Montana Medical Growers Association, said of marijuana use by young people. “We absolutely believe in protecting children.” Proponents of medical marijuana – they prefer the term “therapeutic cannabis” – cite that tiny percentage as proof that the state’s 2004 voter-approved initiative legalizing medical marijuana has had little effect on teen marijuana use. “For the illegal street drug marijuana, it’s been a problem and remains a problem,” Gingery said. But he said, “There’s very, very few cases of medical cannabis found in schools.”

 

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