N.J. Law Grants Sick Children Access to Edible Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

As reported by CNN, New Jersey passed into law on Tuesday a measure allowing sick children access to edible medical marijuana.

Qualifying minors in New Jersey will now have a wider variety of treatment options, and the new law will remove the limit on the number of marijuana strains that may be cultivated.

The new law also requires parental permission for edible marijuana to be made available to minors through tablets, capsules, drops or syrups, according to New Jersey Assembly Democrats who advanced the legislation.

[Governor] Christie, a Republican, vetoed the original bill in August and said he would sign legislation that included a rule that edible marijuana would be dispensed only to minors and that a psychiatrist and a physician both would have to approve before a minor could join the program.

The final version of the bill includes both of Christie’s demands, according to a news release from the state’s Assembly Democrats.

The passing of this bill is a heartening multi-party response to what has typically been (in my opinion, somewhat unreasonably) a divisive topic.  The winner here is ill children and their parents who have more comprehensive health options for disease treatment.  One example of such is laid out in the article.

The bill was originally proposed after Brian and Meghan Wilson of Union City began a campaign to get what could be life-saving treatment for their 2-year-old daughter, Vivian. She has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy for which anti-seizure medicine is ineffective, according to Democrats’ statement this week.

Hopefully this children first policy can be a template for political parties to find inroads to compromise that shy away from antiquated rhetoric and place our families’ best interests at the forefront.

Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

TCJC List of Reform Bills Approved by 83rd Lege, Grits for Breakfast

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition sent out an email this morning detailing reform legislation they supported which passed in the 83rd session. There is a surprising number of juvenile justice bills on the roster but a lamentably short list of bills aimed at reducing incarceration in the adult system.

Medical Pot Laws & Treats May Send More Kids to ER, Yahoo! News

CHICAGO (AP) — Increased use of medical marijuana may lead to more young children getting sick from accidentally eating food made with the drug, a Colorado study suggests.

Medical marijuana items include yummy-looking gummy candies, cookies and other treats that may entice young children. Fourteen children were treated at Colorado Children’s Hospital in the two years after a 2009 federal policy change led to a surge in medical marijuana use, the study found. That’s when federal authorities said they would not prosecute legal users.

Changes Proposed for NC’s Juvenile Justice System, San Francisco Chronicle

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislators, advocates and prosecutors are talking about changing a century-old law that calls for lawbreakers to be prosecuted as adults starting at age 16 — a measure that remains in effect in only one other state in the country.

The debate about raising the age to 18 comes even as district attorneys say they are seeing younger and younger people committing especially violent crimes, including murder.

Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, is the primary sponsor of a bill that would raise the age to 18 for teenagers who commit misdemeanors only. Avila initially had drafted a more-expansive bill that would also raise the age for low-level felonies, which would include charges such as breaking into a car, possession of marijuana, common law robbery and involuntary manslaughter.

Rep. Khan Sponsored Juvenile Justice Bill Passes in the House, Wicked Local

Newton — Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton) announced Thursday that legislation she sponsored, An Act Expanding Juvenile Jurisdiction (H.1432), was passed unanimously yesterday by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. This legislation will raise the Juvenile Court’s youth jurisdiction from the 17th birthday to the 18th birthday as it stands in 38 other states.

An Act to Expand Juvenile Jurisdiction, Increase Public Safety and Protect Children from Harm incorporates up to date scientific research which offers a more effective method in approaching 17 year-olds who enter the criminal justice system. This legislation will reduce the number of young adults going into the adult prison system thereby lowering costs to the Commonwealth.


Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

State Reforms Could Give Options to Wayward Teens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lawmakers in this traditionally tough-on-crime state approved a sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s rigid sentencing laws a year ago, allowing more nonviolent adult offenders to avoid costly prison stints. This session, the General Assembly . . . will consider changes to the state’s juvenile justice system, which costs $300 million a year but has had a poor success rate in keeping Georgia’s wayward teenagers from committing repeat offenses.

Among the key proposals will be financial incentives for counties to create community-based treatment programs for nonviolent juvenile offenders as alternatives to incarceration. Lawmakers also will consider creating two new classes of sentences for juveniles who commit any of the 30 so-called “designated felonies,” which ensure lengthy terms of incarceration. One class would give sentences of up to five years for juveniles who commit violent crimes while the other would provide punishments of no more than 18 months for nonviolent offenders.

Officials Fear Pot Dispensaries May Harm Fight Against Drug Use, The Boston Globe

In Walpole, which has struggled to curb underage drinking and drug use, questions raised by the statewide legalization of medical marijuana go beyond how dispensaries will be regulated. Officials also worry that the new law will lead to increasing positive attitudes about the drug among young people, exacerbating a problem youth-outreach advocates said they had just started to get a handle on.

Nonpublic Special Education School Graduates Outpace their Peers in Public Settings, The Baltimore Sun

They have higher rates of employment, independence after graduation when compared to national results, study finds.

The Ohio Model: State Youth-Prison Reforms are Paying Off, But Also Concentrate the Violence, The Columbus Dispatch

The high rate of assaults — 48 times greater per inmate than in the adult prison system — and the toll it takes on those hired to help these kids is terrible. Efforts should continue to improve safety and to provide these youngsters the help they need to turn their lives around.

But problems with the hardest cases should not obscure the fact that in most other respects, Ohio’s handling of young offenders has become a national model. The state now locks up fewer youths, and only the most hard-core cases. This reform concentrated the worst kids in prisons, and overall has cut costs, recidivism and juvenile-crime rates.

The institutions didn’t get worse; their residents did.