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Jayden’s Law: Mom wants son’s medication allowed in schools

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By David Custer

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    BURTON, Michigan (WNEM) — Amie Carter knew her son Jayden was different the day he was born.

“He cried constantly as if he were in pain. He had three seizures before he was one,” said Amie Carter.

As Jayden got older, the Burton mom said she noticed his sensitivity to lights and sounds. She said he rarely would sleep through the night and became increasingly violent.

“I used to restrain him eight to 10 times a day for about six years,” said Carter. “He wasn’t able to express himself so he was just very violent and aggressive.”

Carter said doctors diagnosed Jayden with Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

“He was on everything from lithium, Risperdal, Abilify, Adderall,” said Carter.

She said she tried several pharmaceuticals, therapy, support groups, and diet changes, but nothing seemed to help Jayden’s condition.

“We had the police to our house over 120 times in the course of about six years. We had about 300 hospitalizations through that time. He was suspended from school for injuring other staff members,” said Carter.

Carter said Child Protective Services was considering removing Jayden from her home over fears he was going to injure her.

When Jayden was 9-years-old, Carter consulted her doctor, and Jayden was prescribed medical marijuana.

She gave Jayden cannabis oil-filled capsules and she said everything changed for the better.

“I thought it might just be a honeymoon stage and wondered how long it would work. That was when he was 9 and he’s 16 now and the benefits are great,” said Carter.

Jayden said the cannabis oil makes him feel normal.

“Before I took cannabis, I just felt blank. I felt like I wasn’t in touch with my body or soul,” said Jayden.

Jayden is restricted from taking his prescribed medical marijuana in school. Michigan law prevents him from bringing it on school grounds. His mom has to check him out of school, take him 1,000 feet off the premises, administer his medication, then check him back into school.

“Even though he’s a licensed pediatric patient, she has to do that,” said Michigan State Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr.

Wilson is a Democrat representing Michigan’s 32nd district and he plans to reintroduce House Bills 4796 and 4797. He said the legislation would clear a path for the state’s 200 pediatric patients using medical marijuana.

“It has to be prescribed by a doctor, must have a parental consent. This is non-smokable marijuana that would be allowed and it has to be stored in the same location, locked in the administrator’s or nurse’s office,” said Wilson.

The legislation is modeled after Ashley’s Law, a bill that was signed by the governor of Illinois in 2018. Ashley Surin, 12, needed to take CBD oil to prevent seizures. She suffered them as a result of chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. The law allows Ashley to receive her medication at school. Before the law, she would suffer one to three seizures a day at school.

“It’s not smokable marijuana, this is treating epilepsy normally, and there are provisions in place,” Wilson said.

Jayden said he still has a tough time going to school because he can’t take his medication.

“I just wish I wouldn’t get discriminated against this so much because it’s the only thing that helps with my anxiety,” said Jayden.

Jayden’s mom has started an informational website about the legislation at jaydenslaw.com

She hopes this legislation passes soon so parents and students don’t have to continue to suffer.

“He shouldn’t feel different. He shouldn’t feel his medicine is any different than the Ritalin or the inhaler that they are using at school,” said Carter.

Wilson said he hopes to reintroduce the legislation in May if he successfully garners bipartisan support.

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