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Marijuana at St. Jude


Marijuana is a drug made from a plant. It has many different names, including weed, hash, pot, cannabis, grass, and ganja. Marijuana includes substances made from the marijuana plant, such as cannabis oil and cannabidiol, or CBD.

It is against United States national law to have, use, share, or sell marijuana under any name. Marijuana is also against the law in many U.S. states.

Marijuana and the law

United States law says using, selling, and sharing marijuana is illegal. This law does not allow doctors to prescribe marijuana or give it to you. So, the St. Jude doctors and staff cannot help a St. Jude patient use any type of marijuana. You may not use any form of marijuana or give it to your child on the St. Jude campus or in St. Jude housing.

What if marijuana is legal where we live?

Even if marijuana is legal in your state, you cannot bring it to St. Jude. This is because marijuana is not legal in Tennessee, where St. Jude is located, or under national law. It is also illegal to give marijuana to someone under 18 in Tennessee.

“Marijuana” at St. Jude means any form, including cannabis oil (CBD) and foods that contain marijuana.

Marijuana at St. Jude

St. Jude follows state and national laws about having and using marijuana. Marijuana is against U.S. law and is illegal in Tennessee. Marijuana, cannabis oil, and cannabidiol (CBD) are not allowed at St. Jude.

What about Marinol?

Marinol is the brand name for a drug called dronabinol. It is not marijuana, but a prescription medicine that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested and approved. Marinol is sometimes used to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. If your child’s doctor prescribes Marinol, it is given like your child’s other medicines.

The risks of marijuana

Doctors do not yet know all the medical risks of marijuana. For example, they do not know how marijuana will affect someone who is getting chemotherapy or radiation. If your child has used any form of marijuana, please tell your main St. Jude doctor. It is important for the doctor to know this for your child’s health. Below is a list of the marijuana risks that doctors know about.

  • Marijuana may affect how your child’s chemotherapy or other medicines work.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration studies medicines to learn how safe they are and how well they work. We do not know these things about marijuana, because the FDA has not studied it this way.
  • Marijuana could cause an infection with a type of germ called a “fungus.” This is because products with marijuana are not always made in a germ-free place or made the same way every time. The marijuana could have fungus or other substances in it that could make your child sick.
  • There is no way to tell exactly what you are getting when you buy marijuana. This is because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have rules for marijuana like it does for medicine. Two containers of marijuana could have the same label, but not contain the same thing. They might contain a different strength of drug or even a different drug.

Marijuana side effects

Marijuana can cause side effects, including:

  • Hunger,
  • More interest in what you see, taste, or hear,
  • Mood changes, including feeling paranoid (very suspicious),
  • Dizziness, slow movement, or clumsiness,
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating and remembering things, and learning problems from long-term use,
  • Red eyes, dry mouth, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and
  • Difficulty noticing your surroundings or what is happening.

The benefits of marijuana

Doctors do not yet know the medical benefits of marijuana. Some people say marijuana helps them feel better and has other benefits. But so far, not many studies show marijuana is safe or effective for patients.


If you have questions about marijuana, please talk to your child’s doctor or nurse or another member of the St. Jude team.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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