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How to Use Medical Marijuana Safely in a Family Home

August 11, 2020 • • Medical Marijuana
medical marijuana child safety

Here are a few tips for keeping medical cannabis safely stored at home.  Thanks to the work of advocates and legislators, medical cannabis is currently legal in the majority of U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The fact that marijuana is legal for recreational use in 11 states and Washington, D.C., goes to show just how much of the stigma associated with the Cannabis Sativa plant — which until fairly recently overshadowed the plant’s benefits — has faded in the past few decades.  However, as medical marijuana becomes even more of an accepted means of treatment — including for people over the age of 40 — patients are having to learn how to safely store their medication at home. Medical marijuana should be treated like any other prescription medication, which means keeping it out of the hands (and mouths) of small children may not know better and teenagers might actually seek it out.  Here are a few practices to help keep your medication secure.

Safety Practices for Keeping Cannabis at Home

  1. The first and most important step is to keep your marijuana in locked containers that are clearly labeled. Medication lock boxes (or fridge lockers, in the case of edibles) can be useful tools. This is especially important for edibles like cookies, candies, gummies, and tinctures, which need to be clearly marked so that children understand that they are medication and not a treat.
  2. Next, store your cannabis supply in a secure or hard-to-reach location (such as closets and wardrobes with overhead storage) that ideally can be secured with a lock. 
  3. When medicating, only do so when a non-medicating adult is available to keep track of both you and the rest of your family. Non-medicating adults are also able to respond quickly in the case of an accident or emergency.
  4. Lastly, take detailed notes about the safety precautions that you have in place. If you are ever in a position when you need to inform another adult — such as maybe be the case with babysitters or law enforcement — having this documentation available can be a useful and efficient means of preventing potential misunderstandings. 

Teaching Children about Medical Marijuana Safety

The other key element to this is education. Instead of hiding or denying your medical cannabis, have age-appropriate conversations with your children to help them understand why you’re using marijuana, and that they should leave your supply of medication alone.  These conversations might feel a little awkward, but it’s important to avoid lecturing. Instead, open a dialogue with your children and encourage them to ask questions. When replying, make sure to give them enough information to help them understand — you can explain your medical history and why you use cannabis, for instance, while also using the moment to teach them a little about health and privacy. In turn, asking your children questions can also help to normalize medical cannabis as a part of your lives. However, even if worst comes to worst and your child manages to take some of your medication, remember that they’re going to be fine. They will likely feel uncomfortable or strange for a few hours, so be with them and make sure they’re ok — but be sure to put away your medication more securely.

Maintaining Good Medical Marijuana Safety Practices at Home

While medical cannabis offers a variety of promising medical benefits, it is, ultimately, still a controlled substance. It’s important for patients to keep their medication stored securely, especially when living in a house with children. If you’d like to learn more about the best ways to keep your medication out of the reach of small children, contact Lakewood Medical Clinic today. We’re dedicated to making medical marijuana accessible both to patients who need it and to those who want to learn more about it. Get in touch to see whether cannabis-based care is right for you.