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Proposed Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana for Those Under 18


REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. -  A proposed bill would legalize the use of low THC oil medical marijuana for those under the age of 18 in Delaware.

Currently, medical marijuana is legal in the state for adults with a medical card. State Senator Ernie Lopez (R) however wants to change that. He is circulating the bill Thursday, called Ryley's Law, in honor of Ryler Maedler.

Ryley Maedler, 9-years-old from Rehoboth Beach, had massive surgery for bone tumors where she lost a lot of blood and suffered nerve damage in her face. As it turns out, that nerve damage led to seizures.

"I could barely lift my legs, and my hands would be shaking and it would be really hard to control myself," she said. 

Her parents, Sean and Jainey Maedler, tried seizure medication, but the side effects, such as jaw pain and kidney stones were too severe, so they went to doctor who recommended cannabis treatment.

The Maedlers wouldn't comment on whether they have tried medical marijuana on Ryley, but her father Sean Maedler did say he would do anything for her.

"It doesn't have the side effects and it doesn't have the psychoactive," he explained. "It's an anti-convulsant so she wouldn't have the seizures and also prevents tumor growth and promotes the bone growth so it it has all these potential positive effects that we just felt that we needed to try, if there's something that's natural and can help then we're going to do what we can."

Senator Lopez's bill would open up that option to children like Ryley. However, some people, like youth pastor Cliff McCall of Milton, think allowing kids to access THC could be a slippery slope.

"It would seem as though the medical community by permission of the lawmakers would be offering our young people exposure to the same drugs that we're fighting on the streets after they are grown up," he said.

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