Last year Delaware adopted “Rylie’s Law,” which allows children under the age of 18 to use medical marijuana oil to treat specific illnesses and conditions. According to NewsWorks.org, these children will not be able to access their medication while on school property, something that the original bill failed to allow.
The bill is named after Rylie Maedler, a 9-year-old from Rehoboth Beach who suffers from intractable epilepsy. The cannabidiol oil would provide her with relief from seizures, which she has experienced ever since undergoing the surgical removal of a bone tumor.
The Delaware General Assembly passed Senate Bill 181 earlier this month, almost unanimously. There were zero votes against the legislation and only one absent voter. Every other legislator on both sides of the aisle came together in support of the state’s children.
“It feels terrific. This bill came about as a result of a lot of hard work. It’s a good bi-partisan legislation that’s going to help kids and families in Delaware,” said State Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, the sponsor of the bill. “This was a collaborative approach, which is the way it should be, when it comes to the health of our children. And in these very polarized political times this is another example of how we continue to show that we come together on behalf of our constituents and I’m really proud of that.”
Getting lawmakers and the population at-large to buy into medical marijuana in children wasn’t as easy as, say, touting the benefits of physical activity (something only one in three children get every day, on average), but those arguing for the initiative and those who opposed it have been able to compromise.
Medical marijuana oil, which is what the law specifically allows, does not cause the “high” effect that’s typically thought of when the substance is smoked, according to experts. Instead, children with conditions like intractable epilepsy and certain muscle disorders can benefit from the calming and pain-reducing effects in a safe and responsible manner.
Recent research and studies into the effects of medical marijuana have been controversial, but more and more people are beginning to realize the benefits this highly stigmatized drug can have.
“This new law will not only be a relief for Rylie, but other more medically fragile children who should never be in harsh weather, who are more difficult to transport off school grounds,” said Janie Maedler, Rylie’s mother. “She will no longer feel singled out due to having to leave every single day and then come back because of her type of medicine.”