The Connecticut law that allows children with serious medical conditions to obtain medical marijuana goes into effect next month and the pre-registration process begins today.
The state Department of Consumer Protection has opened its medical marijuana registration system for patients under the age of 18 so children can be fully registered by Oct.1, when the laws goes into effect, and able to immediately access it.
Patients under 18 can register if they have conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, severe epilepsy, a terminal illness requiring end-of-life care or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder.
“We are pleased to put these common sense, compassionate changes to Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program into action,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said in a statement. “In one month patients under the age of 18 with severe debilitating conditions will finally get the medication they need. I am proud of the work our staff at DCP has done to make sure the registration process is up and running so patients can get the medication they need on the first day possible.”
Some opponents of the legislation said providing pediatric patients access to medical marijuana could lead to the prescriptions being used as a gateway to other drugs, like opiates. Others said the harm from “mind-damaging substances” could be worse than underlying conditions.
Proponents said they heard from many anguished parents about their children's suffering from conditions, such as extreme seizures, being eased by the drug.
Patients under 18 are not able to obtain their medication in a smoke-able, inhalable or vaporizable form.
For a child to register for the medical marijuana program, the legal guardian for the patient must have the pediatric patient’s primary care provider and a physician who is board-certified in an area of medicine involved in the treatment of the debilitating condition. Parents or guardians must certify that the patient has one of the qualifying conditions and that the use of medical marijuana is in the patient’s best interest, register as a primary caregiver, complete the qualifying patient application and select a licensed, in-state dispensary facility to obtain the medication.
Instructions on how to register pediatric patients can be found on the Department’s website.