One of the most-tired arguments against legalizing marijuana and granting more people the ability to buy cannabis in a store (rather than on the street) is “the children.”
Kids, and keeping them away from drugs at all costs, is one of the main intellectual foundations on which marijuana prohibition as well as limits on legalized cannabis rest. Without it, proponents of keeping weed illegal have very little in the way of justification for the status quo. Even legalizers must nod to the kids: The full name of the campaign committee behind California’s successful legalization initiative, Prop. 64, ended with the catch-all safety clause, “while protecting children.”
At the same time, kids are a major reason why the concept of medical marijuana is legitimate for almost 90 percent of Americans. If it weren’t for the near-miracles of cannabis oil curing otherwise-intractable seizures on cable television, it’s unlikely places like Texas would have adopted CBD laws. “The children” need cannabis just as much as anyone else, yet the predisposition against giving it to them is so deeply ingrained may as well be genetic.
So for Jason David to name his Modesto, California marijuana dispensary after his young son is against common practice, as is the dispensary’s stated mission: putting weed in the hands of kids. But weed saved David’s son — so, his stated purpose of Jayden’s Journey is to save other kids.
Jayden David has Dravet’s syndrome, the same variety of intractable childhood epilepsy made famous by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta in the 2013 documentary, “Weed.” In the same way that star of “Weed,” Colorado’s Charlottee Figi, was cured, Jason David started treating his son with cannabis oil. The results, he says, were similarly remarkable. In 2015, David concocted and started marketing a high-CBD, low-THC potion called “Jayden’s Juice,” and sometime after, he opened up a dispensary also bearing his son’s name.
Some of the patrons interviewed by reporters recently include an 8-year-old whose seizures were reduced by 90 percent, and an infant —6 months old —whose cannabis regimen was approved by the family doctor.
“A quarter of a million people die a year from pharmaceuticals — the same ones we give our children, and nobody says a word,” David told a television reporter. “When a child is sick, the whole family is sick. Someone has to make a change.”
What’s remarkable about Jayden’s Journey is not only the kids-first focus but the location. Modesto is in California’s Central Valley. This is Devin Nunes country, the state’s equivalent of the Bible Belt — and Modesto was where a dispensary operator received a 20-year federal prison term for running a weed club.
David’s dispensary caters to adults as well as sick children, with offerings of high-THC flower and concentrates as well as CBD products. After all, cannabis isn’t just medicinal anymore — and it’s not just for kids.
TELL US, do you use marijuana in a medicinal way?