Medical Marijuana For Pediatric Purposes in Florida

Despite the controversial nature of using marijuana and cannabis-derived substances as a medication, the practice has only grow in popularity over the years. Looking at just the state of Florida, it has over a quarter of a million patients carrying active ID cards related to the state’s medical marijuana program. As multiple conditions are suitable for approved within the program, all sorts of Floridians, even the state’s adolescents, are able to gain access to incredibly powerful prescriptions that can relieve them of whatever symptoms they struggle with.

While it may seem daunting to get your own recommendation for medical marijuana, just imagine how much more monolithic a challenge this would be for a parent seeking the same thing for her child. Fortunately, a guide like this has been written to help and move parents through the process with as little stress and headaches as possible.

What Qualifies a Floridian for Medical Marijuana?

Since 2016, Floridians diagnosed with at least one of these following “debilitating medical conditions,” outlined in the second Amendment of the Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative, are fit for a recommendation of medical marijuana.

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Other medical conditions regarded with the same level of severity or classification as the above conditions.
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician separate from the physician who was issued the certification.
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by one of the relevant medical conditions that happens to persist well beyond the normal duration of said condition.

Is Medical Marijuana Safe For a Child to Use?

The fact that so many concerned parents continue to ponder this question is just further proof of the effect so having so few completed, well-developed and controlled clinical trials has had on the subject. Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 Substance at the federal level by way of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Because marijuana is not recognized to have medical use, much scientific research into the subject has been stunted and delayed. While some case studies and anecdotal evidence has been collected regarding pediatric conditions, this data pales in comparison to the data available on adult use.

Most of the misconceptions about medical marjiana are the result of stigmas against the psychoactive effects of marijuana’s THC content, there are other parts of the cannabis plant that lack THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one such substance and has been shown to soothe many medically-derived symptoms without any psychoactivity.

How to Go About Obtaining Medical Marijuana for Pediatric Patients

If either you or a loved one wants to relieve your child’s symptoms with medical marijuana, know that multiple physicians are willing to help.

Florida law dictates that any minor seeking a recommendation for medical marijuana must undergo the follow process:

  • Just like if the child were an adult Floridian, the child must have a recorded diagnosis of any of the medical conditions listed earlier int his article.
  • The parent must acquire a written second opinion from either a D.O. or M.D. whom has looked over the child’s medical records and is of the belief that the effects of medical marijuana for relieving medical symptoms will outweigh any risks.
  • Upon approval, the child’s parent must submit an application to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use that covers both the child and the parent’s role as a caregiver.

Florida law also makes it illegal for minors to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC). This means that once the child has been approved for medical marijuana after visiting a certified recommending physician that the parent must apply as a Caregiver through the state’s Department of Health. Caregiver status gives a parent or guardian the authority to buy and administer products discussed in the physician’s recommendations for the child. Lastly, it is illegal for children to have any form of marijuana that is to be smoked with the sole exception of children who are coping with a terminal illness.

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