In the wake of the Cannabidiol (CBD) craze, many conservative states have championed legalizing CBD medicines for children in need. The desire to give children marijuana derived medicines without getting them “high” is steadily driving demand for products such as Alepsia, which sounds wholesome and pharmaceutical to the ears, more like something a doctor would actually prescribe over something called “Cat Piss”.
But I think we need to step back and ask, what is wrong with kids getting high?
Being young and sick is terrifying. It is hard for a young mind to wrap itself around reality when faced with pain, suffering, illness and possibly death.
When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and never was there a debate in the doctor’s office about the side effects of the drugs they gave me, they just gave them to me, even when I didn’t want them. Getting high-inducing pain meds out of my doctors was so easy I didn’t even have to ask. I got high off of morphine and hydrocodone (vicodin) and didn’t like it. My doctor’s encouraged me to take it anyway.
Did getting high off my prescribed pharmaceuticals encourage me to spin down a web of degeneracy? Did the pills in my mouth lead to a needle in my arm? No, because even though I was a child I knew the difference between recreational drug use, illicit drug use and medicine. I also learned young that the medicine I was being prescribed caused me more pain than good, so took to smoking marijuana instead.
Take for example, the case of 8-year-old leukemia survivor Brave Mykayla. When Mykayla was diagnosed, her parents didn’t debate over whether or not they were worried that marijuana might make Mykayla “high”, they debated about the best ways to get her the medicine to make the process of fighting cancer as easy as they possibly could for her. That’s what parents do; they make sure even the most difficult situations in life are sugarcoated so children can be children.
Mykayla gets high. Vice.com recently visited her home and saw Mykayla get her medicine, a high-potency marijuana oil complete with THC and CBD in flavored gel caps. The viewer has to ask themselves, would they rather see this girl plugged into an IV, frail and gaunt but still making it, or would they rather see her bubbly, happy, playing with toys and drawing pictures of her favorite ice cream?
Is the proper treatment for a child with cancer sterile hospitals and hushed whispers and stares? Wouldn’t you want your child to maintain some semblance of a normal, happy childhood while battling a life-threatening illness?
While marijuana, and all of its 60+ cannabinoids (which include both THC and CBD), physically has helped cure Mykayla’s cancer and put her in remission, I would argue her mental state has played a major part in the healing as well. Mykayla was never allowed to spiral into the depression of being diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness. Her parents made her treatment fun, a game, they provided her with quality of life, not just marijuana.
So why are we so afraid of getting our kids high? Don’t we already get them high on junk food and pharmaceutical drugs? (Note: all of those things have either caused illness or killed children, marijuana has not and never will). In conservative states high-CBD medications have received rebranding under the name “Alepsia” to make them more palatable to legislators and parents alike. Why not rebrand the “child high” to “quality of life”? Why not allow our sick children quality of life?
Tell us in the comments below, do you think children with life-threatening diseases should be treated with cannabis?