Lawmakers are considering legislation that would permit children to be included in the state’s medical marijuana program.
The bill the Judiciary Committee passed by a 29-15 vote Monday would expand the definition of a “qualifying patient” for the medical marijuana program to include children under the age of 18. The child must receive consent from a parent and physician with experience treating their “debilitating” condition.
The legislature’s Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony from children who suffer from these debilitating conditions and their families, who argued that the treatment can help their illnesses.
Sen. William Tong, D-Stamford, said that he was originally opposed to the medical marijuana laws that passed last year. After the emotional public hearing on March 13, Tong said his views changed and that the legislature has to work to “give the kids whatever they need to get better.”
Republicans on the committee voiced various concerns about the bill, such as the method by which the marijuana would be ingested, how easily children would gain access to the prescription, and whether there is scientific proof the treatment would help each condition listed in the bill.
Rep. Doug Dubitsky, R-Canterbury, argued that the bill leaves room for children to be prescribed medical marijuana unnecessarily. “How do we make sure kids who shouldn’t get it don’t get it?” he asked.