The Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council is hosting a forum today for local educators to talk about the highly sensitive issue of medical marijuana and schools.
“Recently, a school district in town has had the difficult task of attempting to regulate the usage of medical cannabis in a high school, and this is probably only the first of similar issues coming your way,” Tanya Garduno, council president, said in an invitation to the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Representatives from districts 2, 49 and 20 are scheduled to attend the forum.
The story about medical marijuana in a local high school involves a 16-year-old who suffers from a rare condition known as Myloclonus Diaphragmatic Flutter.
“This condition is characterized by severe seizures of the neck and diaphragm muscles that can last for hours or days. This patient is only 16 years old and is being denied his right to public education because of his medication,” Mark Slaugh, the council’s membership director, said recently in an email to state Sen. John Morse.
The student’s story even made it into the mayor’s race.
In fact, for Buddy Gilmore, it was among the most memorable on the campaign trail.
In February, Gilmore was a campaign meeting with Father Bill Carmody and two others at a restaurant near downtown.
“There were four of us in the booth, talking a lot of issues, when MMJ came up,” Gilmore said in an e-mail.
“Carmody was dead set against MMJ. As we talked, I noticed our waitress behind the wall beside the booth. She was listening to the conversation, and I could tell she was getting upset. At one point she went into the kitchen, but I still had eye contact with her, and she was getting more upset by the minute,” he wrote.
As Gilmore and the others got ready to leave, the waitress brought the check.
“You have a story, and I want to hear it,” Gilmore told the woman. “Please sit down.”
The woman told them that she and her husband are recovering meth addicts and have a son with a rare nervous disorder, Gilmore said.
“He has been given several drugs in the past to help him cope with his disorder, but none really work, and she was concerned about him getting addicted. They turned to MMJ, which she says works miracles. At one point, he was taking lozenges to school, where the nurse would dispense them to her son. At some point that capability was taken away, and he had to go home at lunch to take his lozenge,” Gilmore said.
“As she continued her story, I noticed how engrossed Carmody became in the conversation. At one point, he asked her if marijuana was her ‘gateway drug.’ She said no, it was alcohol. I think Carmody had never actually met someone like this, who could provide a personal story the way she could,” Gilmore said.
The group talked for about 30 minutes.
“At the end of the conversation, Carmody seemed to be a changed man,” Gilmore said. “It was fascinating to watch the transformation take place. Just before I got in my car to leave, the waitress came out and gave me a hug. Out of all the things I experienced campaigning, this is the meeting that will always stick with me.”