2016-09-14 13:59:41

Many people who argue against the full legalization of marijuana will resort to something along the lines of "think of the children”. Their argument is that making it legal for anyone to smoke or use a vaporizer for weed will endanger kids and make them more likely to use drugs in the future.

While the argument may be at least understandable (even if possibly unfounded), the "for the children" argument misses one key fact--marijuana can benefit kids, too.

Take the case of Tyler, a 6-year-old boy from Ontario, Canada. Tyler has a disorder that causes him to have hundreds of seizures every day. Each one causes him great pain and distress. The seizures are so intense that his mother has to physically hold him down until he falls asleep at night.

Or at least, she did.

After anti-epileptic medications failed to control the seizure disorder called Lennox Gastaut syndrome, Tyler's doctor prescribed him medical marijuana. Tyler doesn't use a portable vaporizer; his mother prepares a paste for him with cannabis and coconut oil. Just one gram per day has made a tremendous difference in his quality of life. He is having fewer seizures, and when he does seize, the episodes are shorter and much less painful.

With access to cannabis, Tyler has the chance to lead a more normal life. In Canada, medical marijuana is legal, but in the United States, many children like him who suffer from serious medical conditions that could be treated with something as simple as the best portable vaporizer and cannabis are being denied access to the medication.

Even in Ontario, Tyler's mother is facing difficulties keeping her son stocked up with the drug. Unlike other prescription medications, cannabis is not covered by Canada's public insurance program. Until she found an assistance program, the single mother was paying $400 per month for her son's medicine.

While changing attitudes about marijuana are helping to clear the way for legalization laws, many children continue to suffer needlessly while we wait for legislators to get on board and support access to herbal medicine. Maybe it's time we think of the children and get involved, encouraging our lawmakers to do the right thing and provide greater access to life-changing herbal medicine.

References: huffingtonpost.ca