Medical Marijuana Case Outline

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I. Intro

A. Child Protective Services and the judge are incorrect in their decision to take Mr. and Mrs. Smith's daughter.

1. Mr. Smith also has a variety of illnesses for which he is using the drug

2. Mr. Smith uses marijuana legally, according to Michigan's Medical Marihuana Act

3. "Patients are…offered legal protection if they have a chronic or debilitating…medical condition or treatment of said condition that produces…the following…"…seizures, including but not limited to those characteristics of epilepsy…" (Holland, 2010, p.100)

II. Body

A. The only reason CPS would be able to rightfully remove the Smiths' daughter, would be if her parents were being negligent and putting her in harm's way

1. "A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with this act, unless the person's behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated, " according to the Michigan Legislative website

B. The risks involve charges in cases where there are allegations of abuse of marijuana.

1. This does not seem to be the case here

2. Mr. Smith is taking the schedule one drug for more than one medical condition, therefore he might need to take more than other patients

3. This could be the reason that Mrs. Smith is growing so many marijuana plants

C. State programs "do not address whether a patient may lawfully medicate in the presence of a child" (Boire and Feeney, 2006, p. 104)

1. When medical marijuana is grown in the home, it should be locked away when not being accessed, or in use, as well as paraphernalia

2. Doing this not only protects children, but it also helps to follow with the rules of the law of usage

3. If the Smiths are taking proper precautions, the child is fine in their care

D. There are no reported deaths from marijuana overdose.

1. "A lethal dose of cannabis would be 20,000 to 40,000 a normal dose: approximately 40 to 80 pounds of marijuana," (Gieringer and Rosenthal, 2008, p. 1)

2. The Smith's would not have that amount of marijuana in their home

3. They would not have enough space to grow it in

4. They would not have the resources to grow that amount

E. If the child is taught that it is used for medical purposes, and not recreationally, the whole situation changes

1. I disagree with the argument that "marijuana use by parents is associated with a greater risk…marijuana use among their adolescent children," (Hawken, Kilmer, and Kleiman, date, p. 80)

2. Medical marijuana is legalized in their state, Michigan

3. It would be the same as their parent taking any other medical drug

F. There are many benefits for sick adults using the drug

1. It relieves pain, relieves anxiety, acts as an anti-convulsant and more

2. It is also used by cancer patients, to relieve nausea and the side effects of chemotherapy – even in children

3. "The remarkable value of marijuana was discovered serendipitously by young radiation and chemotherapy patients" (Gieringer and Rosenthal, 2008, pg. 41)

G. CPS has a right to be concerned of the child being in contact with too much secondhand smoke from the marijuana if it was ingested that way, and if it was not contained in one room

1. During a controlled experiment in which "smoking machines" were used to "smoke" marijuana blunts studying secondhand smoke, it was found that "the side-stream marijuana smoke has 20 times as much ammonia as did cigarette smoke…[and] three to five times the concentration found in…tobacco cigarettes" (Doweiko, year, p. 131)

2. Because of this, I would recommend that Mr. Smith smoke outside, or chose another method of ingestion.

3. Something to keep in mind is the child cancer patients

H. "Three factors influence the safety of marijuana or cannabinoid drugs for medical use: the delivery system, the use of plant material, and the side effects of cannabinoid drugs" (Benson, Joy, and Benson, 1999, p. 127)

1. If the drug is used properly, as described, it is fine

I. "For each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility," the Michigan Legislative website stated.

1. CPS should have asked the Smith's about this first

K. “None of the big drug-crime stories is directly related to marijuana,"(Kenny, Nolin, 2003, p. 100)

1. Medical marijuana and crime are not related

2. It is hard to find evidence of violence

3. There is no factual evidence of break-ins

4. These small amounts of marijuana are not it for a potential thief

III. Conclusion – It is not right for the Smiths to have their child taken away from them.

A. They are not breaking the law

B. Mr. Smith has a medical card, which gives him permission to use marijuana for his medical issues

C. Mrs. Smith has the right to grow and dispense it to him

D. The legal issue with medical marijuana is a complicated subject. It can be confusing when it comes to laws in states besides Michigan.

E. "The U.S. legal landscape surrounding 'medical marijuana' is complex and rapidly changing" (Hoffmann and Weber 2010).

1. There are not any set rules to follow

2. "There are remarkable advances in marijuana cultivation" (DeWitt, 2013, p. 8)

IV. Reference Page


Boire, R. G., & Feeney, K. (2006). Medical marijuana law. Oakland: Ronin Pub.

DeWitt, D. (2013). Growing medical marijuana: securely and legally. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Doweiko, H. E. (2014). Concepts of Chemical Dependency (8th ed.). Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Gieringer, D. H., Rosenthal, E., & Carter, G. T. (2008). Marijuana medical handbook: Practical guide to the therapeutic uses of marijuana ([2nd. ed.). Oakland, Calif.: Quick American.

Hoffmann, D. E., & Weber, E. (2010, April 22). The New England Journal of Medicine. Medical Marijuana and the Law — NEJM. Retrieved November 4, 2013, from

Holland, J. (2010). The pot book: a complete guide to cannabis: its role in medicine, politics, science, and culture. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

Joy, J. E., Watson, S. J., & Benson, J. A. (1999). Marijuana and medicine assessing the science base. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Kenny, C., & Nolin, P. C. (2003). Cannabis report of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Abridged version. ed.). Toronto, Ont.: University of Toronto Press.

Kilmer, B., Hawken, A., & Kleiman, M. A. (2012). Marijuana legalization: what everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford University Press.

Michigan Legislative Website. (2008, December 1). Michigan Legislature. Retrieved November 4, 2013, from