I agree that we need to take the presence of cannabidiol products in schools seriously (“CBD doesn’t belong in Minnesota schools,” editorial, Jan. 31) — both to minimize risk for young people and to address concerns from school nurses. The fact remains that CBD and medical cannabis are already in Minnesota schools.
Currently, more than 500 children ages 5 to 17 are enrolled in the medical cannabis program, and others with conditions such as autism, Tourette’s syndrome and epilepsy choose high-quality CBD to manage their children’s chronic conditions. Minnesota schools allow parents to take students off-campus during school hours to give their medically fragile children their CBD or medical cannabis. School nurses are already working with students’ health care providers to ensure the safety of children who need medication during the school day and have done so since the implementation of the medical cannabis program back in 2015 and since the legalization of CBD on Jan. 1, 2020.
Side effects such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, suicidal thoughts and lethargy are just a few of the side effects our epileptic son, Kade, has endured. Kade’s CBD, which is given under the supervision of his neurologist, meets all Minnesota requirements for the product, including third-party lab testing, has yet to cause any negative effects. It can pull Kade from a grand mal seizure in less than 30 seconds. Kade is an active 12-year-old boy. He enjoys playing soccer and recently took up acting.
Mothers like Jessica Hauser, whose son Wyatt suffers from intractable epilepsy, found great relief from medical cannabis and CBD products before the passage of Minnesota’s medical cannabis law. These moms came together back in 2014 to provide Minnesotans with compassionate access to an effective treatment for numerous conditions, and now, in 2020, these same voices will come together to ensure that our children have access to their medication when and where they need it most.
Should Kade or other medically fragile Minnesota children be denied an education because the safest medication for them comes from a plant? School nurses should want to give medication with the least amount of side effects and greatest efficacy, and for students like Kade, that lifesaving medication is hemp-derived CBD and/or medical cannabis.
This issue isn’t unique to Minnesota’s schools; in fact, more than 30 states have legalized medical cannabis and even more have legalized hemp-derived CBD.
Concerns over federal funding are assumed and not based in fact. The Wann family in Highlands Ranch, Colo., actually received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education on Jan. 14 stating that the department does not have the authority to determine state or local education policies or practices unless those matters are specifically required by federal election statutes.
Twelve states already allow CBD and/or medical cannabis to be given at school, and it’s time for Minnesota school nurses to engage in a meaningful conversation with the families affected by Minnesota’s current policies. It’s time for them to stand up for the small percentage of students who need medical cannabis and CBD products and to do what is right.
Kelly King’s 12-year-old son, Kade, attends Eastern Carver County Schools. They were featured in the Jan. 26 front-page article “CBD showdown brewing in state’s schools.”