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Oregon child care providers to choose between business or medical marijuana

Medical marijuana or child care license?
Medical marijuana or child care license?

The confusion between whether or not a child care provider can also have a medical marijuana card in Oregon is about to be cleared up. The recent video of child care workers from Alphabet Learning Academy Learning Center in Salem smoking giant bongs during business hours in Salem has shined a spotlight on the subject, and Governor Kitzhaber has taken a stand saying if your medication is marijuana, you should not run a child care.

Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Governor told FOX12, “He is directing the Early Learning Council to take necessary action so that medical marijuana card holders are prohibited from also being licensed child care providers.” The Early Learning Council will be meeting in August, but there is no official word on what the policies will be or when they will roll out.

Child care providers with their cards are crying out that revealing their medical marijuana card is a violation of HIPAA, but since a doctor cannot prescribe marijuana, it doesn’t technically fall under the protection of HIPAA. Other providers are outraged because the form in which they use marijuana doesn’t create a high like smoking it does.

“The Governor’s priority is making sure children in child care and early learning programs are in healthy environments and actively engaged in learning,” the Governor’s spokesperson continued.

Bridget Towles, a provider in Portland stated, “I shouldn’t have to choose between my comfort and my livelihood.”

Shanna Aldis, owner and operator of Precious Little Lambs in Salem issued this statement, “No child care provider under the influence should be allowed to be in charge of the supervision of children. This should also include teachers and head start, anyone responsible for children. But I believe that child care providers should be allowed to have their cards if their doctor approves it. I personally do not smoke marijuana. I use a cream for my chronic pain. I have 4 protruding discs from caring for children for over 20 years. The parents of the children in care has been very supportive and all my parents have chosen to stay enrolled. As a provider our homes and life’s are ran by rules and regulations but when the child care closes at the end of the day our personal life should not have to continue to be under the child care regulations.”

The owner of Alphabet Academy Learning Center has not been available to comment.

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