While many Massachusetts residents are pleased that medical marijuana has been legalized, no one really knows how safe it is to have young children present when it’s being used.
Furthermore, parents may find it challenging to explain to children why the marijuana a doctor helped them obtain is strictly off limits for them. Kids may become further confused when they learn that Massachusetts doctors can give some “qualified” patients under age 18 a “written certification” for obtaining the drug. [See: 105: CMR 725.010 (J)]
What Dangers – If Any – Are Involved for Teens and Younger Children?
Clearly, no one is claiming that all children now face significant threats from the additional marijuana that may soon start appearing in their homes. However, a number of concerned doctors and other professionals are starting to raise new questions.
- In Colorado, medical authorities, lawmakers and others are still reviewing the medical problems suffered by a small number of children who were admitted to hospitals there for ingesting marijuana during recent years. Like many adults, kids are quick to eat cookies and other foods containing marijuana;
- A recent JAMA Pediatrics study reviews the medical outcomes of more than 1,000 teens and young children who were admitted to hospitals for marijuana ingestion;
- A May 2013 Time magazine article notes that commercial products created for medical marijuana patients often contain more concentrated amounts of the THC in marijuana “that induces a high.” These items may pose the greatest problems for young children;
- Some parents’ child custody rights are now being challenged due to their use of medical marijuana in the state of Washington — according to at least one lawyer’s blog;
- The American Cancer Society has posted a California study on its website which documents the increased likelihood that (older) male teens may develop testicular cancer due to their use of marijuana (compared to non-users their age);
- Although it may take years to obtain any answers, some people are directly questioning what effect “secondhand” marijuana smoke may have on young children.
Hopefully, new studies will put many of these troubling questions to rest — and those who are now benefiting from using medical marijuana can keep doing so for years to come.
If you’ve been arrested or accused of committing any serious crime, you can contact the Law Offices of Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Russell J. Matson — 24 hours a day — to obtain the criminal defense advice and representation you need: (781) 380-7730.