Fathers high-fived with their children. Old men shed tears. Strangers embraced as if friends.
Autism was recommended to be included in the list of illnesses covered under the protections of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Although there still remains one hurdle to be cleared, this vote was the most crucial moment in the process of adding this illness to the list of conditions covered by the Act.
Forty people erupted in applause and cheers when the announcement was made. I saw children, who could not possibly appreciate the magnitude of what just happened, jumping up and down in excitement. They saw that their parents were filled with joy, and they became that way, too.
But such is the way of despair, as well. When parents are nervous, suspicious – marijuana’s illegality generates this in parents who are using cannabis oils to treat their kids- those characteristics are reflected in the behaviors of the children.
The solution is not to remove from that child the medicine that improves, prolongs or saves their life- the solution is to remove the criminality from the action of improving, prolonging or saving that child’s life.
In Michigan, that reality is one step closer. Although we celebrate today’s event, we are also keenly aware that the medicines most widely used by parents to treat autism in children remain out of the protective scope of the medical marijuana laws themselves.
As far as protecting the children and their parents is concerned, we have miles to go before we sleep. Miles to go, and promises to keep.
Just like those children, imitating the excitement their parents showed, I too felt like jumping up and down. Our state’s medical marijuana patients have taken a beating for quite some time now. Victories are hard to come by, and when one comes around it’s easy to get swept up in the emotion of the moment.
Problem with that is, the moment has long since passed and I am still caught up in the emotion of it all.
These tired eyes indeed saw a marvelous thing today. They felt hope being restored in their owner.