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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Should Be Far Away From Kid's Areas

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Should Be Far Away From Kid's Areas

Written by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on February 18, 2019 at 4:17 PM
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  • Parents in the U.S are concerned about the location of dispensaries that sell medical marijuana near children’s areas such as schools and day care centers
  • Marijuana is generally considered an illicit drug with potential for abuse and addiction and can affect the brain function both short term and in the long term
  • Medical marijuana, i.e. prescribing marijuana for medical conditions is now legal in most parts of the U.S but there are no established policies and guidelines to regulate the location or operation of such pharmacies

No marijuana dispensaries should be allowed near children's areas such as schools, playgrounds or daycare centers, say most parents in the US, according to a recent national poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan. This follows the recent legalization of marijuana for medical use in many parts of the U.S.

"The majority of parents feel strongly that they should give local input on decisions regarding where dispensaries may open and also support limitations on how close dispensaries could be to children's areas" said poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H.

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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Should Be Far Away From Kid's Areas

Key Findings of the National Poll on Marijuana Dispensaries

  • Parents overwhelmingly agreed that marijuana dispensaries should not be located anywhere near children's areas
  • Nearly 70 percent parents agree that they should have a say in the location of marijuana dispensaries
  • Nearly half the parents were concerned about the risk posed to children when people high on marijuana were driving. In fact, a recent study has found that more than half the people using marijuana to treat chronic pain drive while under its influence
  • Other concerns voiced by parents included children accidentally ingesting marijuana left behind by a customer (48%), teenagers having easy access (49%) and increased risk of violent crime in the neighborhood (35%)
  • Interestingly nearly 75 percent of parents were in favor of legal use of marijuana for medical reasons, including a third who supported its use in children. Only 26 percent parents opposed the use of marijuana
  • About 44 percent of parents stated that marijuana dispensaries should not be located near places of worship
  • Mothers and fathers, younger as well as older parents, and parents of lower and higher income groups equally supported the ban
  • More than 75 percent of parents feel that marijuana dispensaries should have the same regulations such as liquor stores regarding location
  • About 52 percent of parents felt that marijuana dispensaries should be given similar rights as other businesses. Nearly all parents (90%) stated that these dispensaries should undergo regular inspections to ensure they are following rules and regulations
  • About 45 percent parents reported that medical marijuana was legal in their state, and 24 percent knew of at least one medical marijuana outlet in their neighborhood
  • Only 20 percent parents reported that their state or community had policies about where these outlets can be located, while 59 percent were unaware if such regulations were present

About Marijuana - In Brief

Marijuana, also referred to as weed, pot, grass, herb, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms—is a mixture of the dried flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in cannabis that causes most of the intoxicating effects is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

It is an illicit drug with high addictive potential and affects the brain both in the short term and long term. It is smoked in cigarettes or water pipes (bongs), can be brewed as a tea or eaten incorporated into cookies or candies.

Surveys indicate that marijuana use among middle and high school students have recently plateaued after several years of increase. However worryingly, the number of youth who feel regular use of marijuana is bad is decreasing.

Some Medical Uses of Marijuana

Some chemicals found in the marijuana plant called cannabinoids have been found to be beneficial in treating epileptic seizures, control of pain and inflammation, and even treating addictions and mental illness. However, more studies are needed to establish the safety of medical marijuana.

Issues That Need To Be Addressed

  • Currently, there are no consistent policies or guidelines to regulate the location or operation of medical marijuana outlets in various parts of the US
  • To further complicate the legal issues, some states have different rules for sale of marijuana for medical and recreational use
  • Also, it is unclear whether parents should contact elected representatives or commissions, and whether they should focus on the local level or state level when an application is sent in for a new dispensary
"The lack of established standards may lead officials to enact policies that may not address parents' concerns," Clark adds. "Parents who want to provide input about local dispensaries may need to take the initiative to learn about the rules for opening a dispensary in their community and what steps they should follow to be involved in these decisions."


Medical use of marijuana is legal in many parts of the U.S and parents' concerns about locations of marijuana dispensaries near children's areas have to be addressed.

References :
  1. Michigan Medicine - University Of Michigan - (http://www.med.umich.edu/)
  2. What is marijuana? - (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana)

Source: Medindia

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