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Being a parent is hard enough. Throw in having a child with special needs or a health condition of any kind and you’ve doubled or even tripled that difficulty level. For many parents, the idea of putting their child on dozens of medications is not ideal. It should be no surprise that medical marijuana, which can be used in place of many medications with virtually no risk, is something parents might consider for their children. But once you’ve started treatment, how do you talk to your child’s teacher about medical marijuana?
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Be Upfront When Talking to Your Child’s Teacher About Medical Marijuana
It might be intimidating to talk to your child’s school or teachers about their medical marijuana treatment. Some might not understand, others might criticize your parenting: there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. But that doesn’t mean you should hide your child’s medical marijuana use from them. In fact, being upfront about the situation will probably help you avoid problems down the road.
One thing you should keep in mind is that as long as you have proper documentation, there can be no repercussions. If your state has medical marijuana laws on the books, and those laws allow children access with parent and physician approval, you have nothing to fear.
However, you should make sure that you have all your documentation about your child’s condition and their treatment, as well as any medical guidelines from your overseeing physician on hand when you go to have this conversation. Having everything ready from the start means even if you don’t need it, you have proof of your child’s condition and their treatment.
Know the Laws in Your State Regarding Medical Marijuana Use at School
Depending on the state you live in, your child may be able to take their medicine on school campus. However, even if your child can take their medicine at school, chances are you as their parent, or a designated caregiver, must be the one to give them the medicine. This is usually more to protect the school, as medical marijuana is still illegal federally regardless of state law.
Before talking to your child’s teacher, principal, or school nurse, find out whether your child will be able to take their medicine at school. If your state doesn’t allow this then you may have to take your child home, or at least off school campus, to provide their medicine if they need it throughout the school day.
Understand that your child’s teacher should be aware of their medical marijuana use, but that they will not be able to administer medication. In fact, unlike any other medication, even the school nurse won’t be able to give your child their medicine in most situations. This is a concern for many parents, and hopefully as marijuana policy reform evolves at a federal level this will change.
For now, though, be prepared to either pick your child up, or at least come to the school to provide their medicine on time.
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Ensure Your Child’s Teacher Medicine Will Not Get in the Way of Education
One concern your child’s teacher might have about their medical marijuana use is whether it will impede their ability to learn. Most of the time, children who take medical marijuana need it to provide a somewhat normal quality of life, including improving their ability to learn. Don’t just dismiss the teacher’s concerns, after all they care about your child’s education and that is the only reason that they are expressing worry at all.
Instead, make sure to tell them that you fully understand their concerns. After all, your child’s wellbeing is your highest priority, right? Help your child’s teacher understand that having a medical condition under control will improve their chances at success in school, not damper them.
Medical marijuana is a touchy subject even as an adult. Many workplaces are still wary of allowing those taking medical marijuana to work for them, so it should be no surprise schools are concerned. There are many reasons, from the plant’s federally illegal status to wondering whether it will hurt a child’s education. Remind them that your child’s health and education must go hand in hand.
Chances are, most teachers are going to be open minded about medical marijuana use, especially in children with conditions like epilepsy and autism, which can often make education difficult. Once you’ve chosen medical marijuana as a course of treatment, the next step is to hash out details with your child’s school. But that doesn’t have to be a stressful conversation, as long as you’ve got your documentation and understand your state’s laws beforehand.
Remember, you can always ask your consulting physician about their recommendations when it comes to talking to your child’s teacher during your telemedicine appointment with your child. Get started today.