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Medical Marijuana Means No Day Care In Oregon

Empty tricycles and other wheeled rides sit empty at an Orgonian daycare due to a new bill that prohibits any parent who holds an mmj card from droppingoff/picking up children at any state facilitated daycare.

Joint Opinions

Medical Marijuana Means No Day Care In Oregon

In a brazen show of discrimination, a special meeting took place in Salem, Ore. this week. This meeting was called into existence by state governor John Kitzhaber, M.D. Members of the governor-appointed Early Learning Council sat down to deliberate on a proposal to amend the background and registry rules for three types of state regulated childcare facilities: registered family childcare, certified family childcare and certified childcare centers.

The proposed rules were described as having the ability to strengthen the health and safety standards of childcare facilities relating to illegal controlled substances, including medical marijuana (which is legal in Oregon) alcohol and tobacco products.

It was decreed that all 65,000 plus Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients were prohibited from being on the property of a state-licensed daycare facility premises, while they are under the influence of marijuana, their medicine. The council also chose to make revisions that prohibit of individuals who hold a medical card from being a licensed childcare provider.

What does this mean for the pediatric cannabis patients in Oregon? Take for instance my family; we are all valid OMMP program cardholders – including our 9-year-old daughter Brave Mykayla, who has a diagnosis of leukemia. She takes 2 grams of full-extract cannabis oil every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This ensures a near 24-hour reduction in chemotherapy side effects.

Based upon current event arguments concerning blood/THC levels, our daughter would be considered by the state to be under the influence of marijuana all 24 hours of each day. This proposal then effectively criminalizes daughter in the states eyes and prohibits her from stepping foot on the premises of any Oregon daycare facility. How is this new set of rules not discriminatory against families that have underage medical marijuana patients? Why should parents be burdened with not having adequate daycare for their children while we are at work?

Erin Purchase, mother of Mykayla and national advocate for pediatric cannabis therapy attended this Early Learning Council meeting and gave her testimony. She explained that when seeking quality day care for her children, she is much more concerned about a day care provider being under the influence of prescription medications ­(such as morphine, Vicodin and Seroquel) than being under the influence of cannabis.

This controversial debate all began around the end of June, when parents of children who attended Alphabet Academy Learning Center in Salem were notified that the center had its license suspended while the State Office of Child Care conducted an investigation into health and safety violations.

KOIN 6 local News team reported that the center’s director and medical marijuana patient, Moriah Jaeger, was found smoking a bong at the facility with children nearby. The story quickly spread through the state garnering commentary and reactions from both sides of the debate.

“This effectively takes child care away from any parent that has a medical marijuana card,” Anthony Taylor of Compassion Oregon said after watching the unusually fast paced nature of the proceedings. “The chair conveyed the message that we were saving the children from marijuana. It was a done deal and they were just doing what the governor wanted. While there were some members that seemed genuinely concerned about the hurried manner and repercussions of their actions, there were no dissenting votes.”

What we have here is an attack based on opinions. The consequences of this attack and subsequent rulings are life-altering for thousands of Oregonians in many different ways. The evidence is mounting in favor of those opposed to these sudden biased and discriminatory amendments. Children are not placed into danger by being left with and cared for by a medical cannabis patient, far from it as many people proclaim the positive effects of the plant.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said, “Marijuana consumption should not and cannot be tolerated within a child care environment licensed by the state. We entrust our providers to maintain safe learning environments where our children can thrive. There is a loophole that needs to be closed. I want that addressed immediately, and have directed the early learning council to take the necessary regulatory action.”

Attorney Lee Berger immediately jumped on the technicalities of the governor’s rash move, watching the story circulating the local media, he began checking facts. What he found was that no professional licensing board may impose a civil penalty or take other disciplinary action against a licensee based on the licensee’s medical use of marijuana in accordance with the provisions of Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.

Many children today are successfully using medical cannabis to treat a wide variety of illnesses like T-Cell leukemia, Dravet’s Syndrome and Nephroblastoma. These children’s stories are amazing and they are instilling new hope into parents across the country and world. Here in the state of Oregon parents of children such as these had a giant dash of salt thrown on their hopes with the new regulations.

What do you think about Oregon’s rules for medical marijuana patients and childcare? Do you agree or disagree with the regulations? Tell us in the comments.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Nicole

    August 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I believe that this is wrong. Basically the governor just told every child involved that he does not care that they are sick, and trying their best to live a normal life, having friends and go to school or daycare. He only cares that the medicine they use is something he does not agree with (because it is all natural and not harmful to children) and they should be punished for it. Those people who passed this law will be the very people whose grandchildren have cancer and die because they think medical marijuana is wrong. Why is this plant so wrong, why would our governing bodies want us to poison ourselves with opium synthetic narcotics instead of something that was so great our nations constitution is written on it (hemp paper). Why?

  2. Steve

    August 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    This abrupt rule-making is a violation of the OMMA.

    Since when do we discriminate against people taking a LEGAL (SCHEDULE II in Oregon) drug? I’d be more concerned about people on morphine (also a legal drug, schedule II) or methamphetamines (also a schedule II drug in OR).

    Lee Burger has it right… the law prohibits the governor from doing what he did. It’s an illegal action and cannot stand.

  3. MJ

    August 9, 2014 at 6:44 am

    I do not agree with the actions of the state. If the person that did a bong hit at the center had done something out of line then that persons actions should be handled. Do not hurt the children that are already dealing with a hard turn in life. With all the drugs that are out there why do people continue to persecute this wonderful plant.
    I would like everyone to know that 47 children everyday are diagnosed with cancer.
    7 children will pass away each day while fighting cancer and over 80% of the little kids that are passing away will die of organ failure and drug overdose due to the nausea and pain drugs they are receiving.
    So as a society we need to change the pediatric death rate associated with pediatric cancer today.
    Purely by getting these kids off of Oxycontin and methadone and giving them Cannabis first.
    Kids are on hard dope right now we need to do something about it.

  4. Resa

    August 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I thought Oregon was moving forward- this makes me wonder. I would trust my child with someone smoking pot but I would not convey that trust to a pillhead or alcoholic! Come on Oregon- don’t get off track now!

    • Jason

      August 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

      agree, I would rather Town stoner then a Town drunk. Also its more like this. have some one Stoned run through a set of tires compare to some one drunk running through a set of tires. Who would win? I also would rather have a bunch of pot heads watch my kid over some one whos pilled out and an alcoholic. What if people started a thing against alcohol i bet you guys would be pretty pissed cause you cant poison your self anymore.

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