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Bean: I cured my daughter’s asthma with marijuana

Opposition Leader Marc Bean

Opposition Leader Marc Bean has come under fire after he told the House of Assembly he gave his three-year-old daughter “ganja tea” to treat her asthma.

Speaking during a take-note motion on the Cannabis Reform Collaborative Report to potential changes to the Island’s policy on cannabis, Mr Bean said he had in the past used marijuana medicinally for both himself and his family.

“Medicinal use, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t need too much scientific evidence,” he said on Friday evening. “When my daughter was three years old, because of the circumstances I didn’t have much opportunity to spend time with her up until she reached about two-and-a-half, three, but I always was told she suffers from asthma. Severely.

“The first opportunity I had my daughter, who’s now going 20 years old, the first opportunity I had her in my care and custody I went and made her a big cup of ganja tea. At two-and-a-half, three years old.

“Now some of you might be saying ‘that’s irresponsible as a parent,’ but you can go ask her mother and her family on her mother’s side today. Since that day she has never, ever suffered from asthma. Since that one day, that one cup of cannabis tea. So you can’t tell me the medicinal use of it.”

Mr Bean went on to say that he also made his father “ganja tea” to remedy his insomnia.

“This is a person who in his late seventies, who hadn’t slept well in 20 years,” he said. “Finally, thanks to a cup of tea, was able to sleep and rest for the first time in 20 years. So I don’t need empirical evidence to see the value of cannabis in terms of the healing of one’s physical temple, or one’s body.”

Mr Bean overall called for the legalisation of cannabis with a “light touch” of regulation, saying the taxation of cannabis could bring in more than $20 million in tax revenue, provide a boost in tourism and create entrepreneurial opportunities.

Sheelagh Cooper, of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said yesterday she was shocked and appalled by Mr Bean’s comments about giving his daughter “cannabis tea”, saying the statement left her at a loss for words.

“It sort of takes my breath away,” she said. “Assuming that the active ingredients of cannabis are in this tea, that is not only illegal in Bermuda but, to my standpoint, it’s very questionable as to any medical benefit for a child.

“I’m astounded that anyone would give something like that to a child without an extensive amount of research behind it as to the effects on a developing child, and to my knowledge that doesn’t exist. That, to me, becomes a child protection issue.

“I’m appalled that he would give something like that to a child of that age. I’m virtually speechless.”