Medical Marijuana bills moving on to the Senate

OLYMPIA—The life of a little girl in Aberdeen is closer to changing for the better now that two medical marijuana bills passed out of the Washington House of Representatives earlier this week.

“I’ve been pushing these bills for a couple of years and I am truly happy that this body gave them the green light this time,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, sponsor of both measures and chair of the Rural Development Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “Like Ducky, there are other children in our state who struggle with seizures or other disorders and I am convinced that these bills will make their lives better.”

Blake sponsored House Bill 1095 after hearing from a constituent whose daughter’s condition, involving seizures, only responds to treatment with cannabidiol, or CBD oil, a medical marijuana concentrate. The girl, affectionately known as Ducky, gets relief after ingesting a few drops of CBD in a cookie or a cup of juice. But sometimes Ducky needs repeated doses in a day and has to miss classes because medical marijuana cannot be administered at the school.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Blake. “We can help these kids so they can have the same opportunity to learn and enjoy school as any other Washington student.”

Blake’s legislation would require school districts to allow students to consume marijuana concentrates for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event. The measure also directs school districts to establish policies related to the consumption of marijuana by students for medical purposes if requested by the parent or guardian of a student who is a qualifying patient.

House Bill 1094, Blake’s other measure, would exempt a qualifying patient from having to be physically present when renewing registration in the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database if a health care professional finds that it would likely result in a severe hardship to the patient.

“This bill is about compassion, it just tries to facilitate the renewal process for people with physical or emotional difficulties,” Blake added.

If the Senate approves these bills and the governor signs them, Ducky and other children with similar afflictions could see dramatic differences in their lives.