Becca,  Blog,  Writing

No License For You.

Johnny’s doing really well. A few small hiccups, but hey, he’s a teen boy. Other than my house smelling like a locker room, it’s been pretty smooth sailing over here.

He’s here as a kinship foster placement right now. We aren’t related, but because I have a significant relationship to him, I qualify.

Kinship is fine, it works, but I want to get licensed as a foster parent. The services are better and the stipend would be helpful as my grocery bill has doubled and the teenager came with four garbage bags of clothes, three of which were too small. What I don’t need would go into an account for Johnny to use when he’s older.

My son, Jax, has a medical marijuana card. I applied for it, and received it legally, after nothing in our pharmaceutical or naturopathic arsenal was helping with his tics. And when I say tics, I mean he was punching himself in the face so hard that I had to wrap his hands up in bandages because I was legitimately scared he would break his nose.

Turns out, you can’t have a marijuana product in your home, even one legally sold to you, and get licensed to be a foster parent. Even if it’s a caregiver card for your twelve year old son.

Hmmm, are you sure, I asked? It’s a caregiver card, I’m a cannabis-free adult, and the medication is locked up with the Mrs. Meyers counter spray and the essential oils that, apparently, a 16 year old foster kid can not be around. The agency said, yeah, we’re sure, we called the state licensing people.

Ok, fine. This isn’t a sword I want to die on. THC, the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, didn’t work for my son. The CBD oil we use is hemp-based, not psycho-active, and works really well for him, and I don’t need a card for that. In fact, it looks like I can order it online from Target or Walmart or the website my son’s neurologist gave me. Yes, that’s right, my kid’s neurologist, who is so respected that she has a six-month-plus waiting list, recommended that continue using CBD oil.

I thought, easy enough, I’ll just cancel my son’s medical marijuana card. Done and done. I forwarded my email canceling the caregiver card to the agency.

You know where this is going.

Because my son still takes CBD oil and because that over-the-counter oil is in my house (and mostly because I was dumb enough to be honest about it), I can’t get licensed. The State basically said, Sorry, you crazy lawyer with an adopted son and all this special needs and attachment experience, even though you’re the only person willing to open your home to this 16 year old boy in the system, and even though he is already living in your home, we don’t think you’re suitable to be a licensed foster parent because you buy a supplement online that really helps your child.

No license for you.

You want to know why the foster pool is full of people only doing this for the money? Exhibit A, y’all. My brain is melting.

I guess I have to die on this sword after all.


Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.