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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Wrong Way to do Medical MJ for Kids



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Sigh. Governor Chris Christie was confronted by the father of a two-year old who suffers from severe epilepsy, demanding that the governor allow the child medical marijuana. Governor Christie has now agreed, with restrictions. From the Bloomberg story:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a first-term Republican who may run for president in 2016, said he will sign a bill easing access to medical marijuana for children as long as parents get three doctors’ notes. Christie, 50, sent the bill back to lawmakers for changes. The measure that passed the Democrat-controlled legislature in June would have lifted a requirement that parents get approval from three doctors before a child enters the program. He is seeking to keep that requirement in the law.

“I am making common-sense recommendations to this legislation to ensure sick children receive the treatment their parents prefer, while maintaining appropriate safeguards,” he said in a statement accompanying the so-called conditional veto. “I am calling on the legislature to reconvene quickly and address these issues.”

This is the wrong way to do this! First, we too often react to highly emotional cases–as in the child who needed a transplant a few months ago. These things should be done coolly and rationally, based on medical science and evidence. Otherwise, we are lurching from situation to situation.

But therein lies a big problem with medical marijuana. We haven’t tested the substance sufficiently–particularly, on children. That’s because the idiotic Congress refuses to change marijuana’s designation under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical use–and our cowardly president doesn’t push them to make a change.

But that’s clearly baloney and breeds disrespect for the rule of law–not that there is much left these days. But Congress should do the right thing, change the drug to Schedule III and thereby make medicinal marijuana usable and testable.

Once that is done, researchers can figure out the conditions for which it is an effective medicine, and the proper doses, delivery systems, etc.–in a medically controlled environment. It would seem to me that such testing is especially important when it is used on children.

Until then, this seems to me to be well-motivated, but unethical human experimentation. 



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