Maine parents fight to treat sick children with medical marijuana

December 15th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

A low-potency but effective strain from Colorado offers Maine families hope, but tests the legal limits of medicinal pot and highlights how far some parents will go to alleviate the suffering of kids who have epilepsy.

On a dark night in November, Meagan Patrick drove from her home in Acton with her husband, Ken, and their two children to a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Portland. Ken parked and went in, while Meagan and the kids waited in the car. “It was literally in a back alley,” said Meagan, a 31-year-old third-grade teacher.

Meagan Patrick plays with her daughter, Addelyn, at their Acton home earlier this month. The baby has severe epilepsy, and the family is taking steps to try treating her seizures with a strain of medicinal marijuana not readily available in Maine.

Christy Shake of Brunswick is battling misconceptions about medical marijuana’s use and its effects on her son, Calvin. She’s petitioned the president and lawmakers to remove it from the list of Schedule 1 drugs.

Medical Marijuana: Children and epilepsy

Q: How do parents get marijuana for children?

A: The state certifies minors for the same conditions it does adults, which range from cancer to glaucoma and include seizures characteristic of epilepsy. Parents ask their physician to evaluate their minor child and make a recommendation that the child be certified for medical marijuana. The physician makes a referral to Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services. An independent physician contracted by the state then has 10 days to render an opinion. This recommendation

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