by Kayla Johnson
Instead of struggling with dozens of seizures or more a day, for example, children that need and have access to medical marijuana are able to actually live a relatively normal life, without the risks involved with a vast majority of pharmaceutical medications. Many families have moved elsewhere for access to medical cannabis for their children’s sake, but with the passage of medical cannabis legalization in the state, the green gate has finally been opened here at home at last.
The fact is, for many diseases and conditions children suffer with today, cannabis gives them the possibility of a healthier childhood.
The Little Buds charity, started by the Oklahoma Women’s Cannabis Association in partnership with the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association and FlowerCraft Co., seeks to make this possibility a reality for Oklahoma families. Currently, two doctor recommendations and a licensing fee are required by state law for children to receive medical cannabis. These expenses, on top of current medical care needs, can be overwhelming and countless families are hurting financially. Many are desperate to get their children access to a safe, natural alternative that could give them a new lease on life. With Little Buds, the cost of the two recommendations and state license fee is covered, allowing families to focus on helping their child.
Little Buds plans to continue their efforts as long as there is a need in the state.
Financial hardship is not the only obstacle parents face. The stigma attached to medical marijuana still lingers in the state. While over time this stigma will fade as more and more people begin to experience what cannabis has to offer, many parents are still less than eager to come forward with their need or story, and Shelley Free, the Executive Director of Oklahomans for Health(James*), has taken notice.
Seeing the need for a more private, discreet manner in which to help families secure the recommendations and license for their child, the idea was brought forward to make a pediatric cannabis angel tree through Little Buds, to be presented at one of the OCTA events in December. Since they will be quietly selecting families who are in need, and placing their need before donors discreetly, Free says it takes care of both problems at once. “The more families we are able to help, the more it will give people the chance to see the benefits this has for kids,” said Free.
Little Buds has created a goal to assist five children through their pediatric cannabis tree, with a total of ten angels to assist with the two recommendations for each child. On the Oklahoma Women’s Cannabis Association website, starting December 1st, there will be an information link for any family who wants more information. In addition to taking donations at the event, online donations will be accepted as well. The tree will be located at December Member Night for the OCTA in downtown Oklahoma City. The date for that meeting has yet to be announced. As always, anyone looking to donate directly to the Little Buds charity can contact the OWCA or OCTA.