A child care provider in Oregon can not be a medical marijuana patient according to rules passed by an Oregon council this week. Meanwhile, a child care provider can still be an alcohol user, a pharmaceutical user, and/or a tobacco user. I get that no one should be taking dab hits in front of kids at day cares, but to say that child care providers can't be patients in the OMMP at all goes way too far. Below is a full list of the new rules, per Oregon Live:
Specifically, the revised rules that were approved Thursday:
- Prohibit child care providers from holding medical marijuana cards
- Prohibit child care providers from using any form of marijuana in a child care home during child care hours or when child care children are present
- Prohibit anyone under the influence of marijuana from having contact with child care children
- Prohibit anyone from growing or distributing marijuana on child care premises
- Permit children with medical marijuana cards to be medicated on child care premises
Reaction was swift from the medical marijuana community in Oregon. Portland NORML posted the following response on their Facebook page:
State Board Declares Medical Marijuana Patients Can't Own or Work in Child Day Care, Yet Allows Minor Patients to be Medicated with Marijuana at Day Care
In a stunning move Thursday, the state board that processes licensing for Oregon child day care facilities made permanent a temporary rule banning cardholders in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) from also holding child care licenses.
Among the new requirements are the following:
• Prohibition against child care providers holding medical marijuana cards;
• Prohibition against child care providers using any form of marijuana in a child care home during child care hours or when child care children are present;
• Prohibition against anyone under the influence of marijuana having contact with child care children;
• Prohibition against anyone growing or distributing marijuana on child care premises;
• Permission for children with medical marijuana cards to be medicated on child care premises.
Portland NORML objects to these new rules most strenuously, as they fail to "treat marijuana like other medicines" as outlined in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Marijuana is a Schedule II substance under Oregon law, just like Adderall, a powerful amphetamine. However, to date no state agency is stripping day care licenses from Oregonians with legal Adderall prescriptions.
"Once again, outdated 'reefer madness' fears about marijuana have replaced science and common sense," remarked Portland NORML Executive Director Russ Belville in reaction to the rules change. "These rules reflect deeply-held prejudices that deny the fact that adult marijuana consumers are just as capable and responsible in the workplace as consumers of alcohol and tobacco. These rules are as un-American and offensive as the 'No Irish Need Apply' signs in the turn of the previous century."
Belville also worries about the application of these rules to all legal adult marijuana consumers when Measure 91, approved by 56 percent of the voters, goes into effect. "Come July 1," Belville explains, "adult consumption and possession of an ounce of marijuana are as legal as drinking a glass of wine and smoking a cigar. What will 'under the influence of marijuana' mean with respect to dealing with children in a child care? If that means 'detection of marijuana metabolites in a drug screening,' then these rules would effectively prohibit any child care worker or owner from ever using legal marijuana, even off hours or on the weekend. It might even endanger parents who use legal marijuana if they pick up and drop off their children at a child care."