FLINT- A staggering 85% of respondents in an impartial MLive online poll said they want Michigan’s sick children to have access to medical marijuana.
The poll was conducted on July 6 with 2,295 people participating. A followup article detailed the results and included some comments from readers. 85.77% of respondents said ‘YES’ and 14.23% said ‘NO’ to the following question:
“Do you think minors should use medical marijuana?”
MLive is a huge media source in Michigan, an umbrella that includes the print and online versions of many newspapers across the state.
The poll was conducted after the release of a story by reporter Jiquanda Johnson featuring Grand Blanc Township mother Ida Chinonis and her 6-year old daughter Bella, who suffers from renal failure, a genetic disorder and holes in her heart. Bella’s treatment: cannabis oil. She now stands on her own, interacts with others and loves the movie ‘Frozen,’ all things she wasn’t able to do before the oil became part of her life.
“As of April 2015, there were 150 patients under the age of 18 registered with the state of Michigan to use medical marijuana,” per the article. In 2012, only 44 children were registered.
This poll comes at a time when treating those children in the state is problematic. A Court of Appeals ruling decided that non-smoked forms of marijuana medicines are not included under the definitions contained within the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Therefore, the parents and children using liquid and pill forms of cannabis medicines are doing so without the protections of law.
The Michigan legislature has both debated and ignored a bill that would solve the issue for three years and two sessions. Despite passionate testimony from parents like Chinonis and Jim Powers, movement in a positive direction on HB 4210 is slow as lawmakers in Michigan are heavily influenced by the law enforcement lobby, including a state association of Sheriffs who stopped the bill from coming to a vote on the last day of 2014’s legislative session.