Pot for Tots: Children and Medical Marijuana

Judy A. Rollins, PhD, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2014;40(2):59-60. 

In This Article

Implications for Pediatric Nursing

With an overwhelming majority of Americans in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, I envision more states joining the roster. As in the past, parent advocacy will be responsible for many significant changes. Parents looking for hope for their children are already moving to states that have legalized medical marijuana for children to enable their children to receive treatments unavailable to them at home. Some parents will not want to or may be unable to leave their homes to take such drastic action, and will unite to advocate for decriminalizing medical marijuana for children in their states.

To provide sound guidance to parents, we need to stay informed about current research findings regarding medical marijuana and our own individual state's policies. We also have a role in reducing unintentional ingestion of medical marijuana by advocating for regulations on and providing information about safe storage of medical marijuana products. Nurses can ask specifically about medical marijuana in the home. Families may be reluctant to report its use to health care providers because of a perceived stigma. The third person technique may be helpful: "Many families have members who are now using medical marijuana because they are not able to adequately control their symptoms with traditional medications. I wonder if that is the case in your family."

The train has left the station. The children we care for must not be left behind.