SALEM -- The state of Oregon has suspended the license of a Salem daycare whose workers say the state already knew about the family’s use of medical marijuana.
The backyard playground is silent at Alphabet Academy Learning Center in Salem. The state suspended owner Moriah Yeager’s license on Friday for possible health and safety violations.
Yeager chose not to talk to KGW on camera, but her mother and manager of the daycare, Charity Araujo, said she believes the business license was suspended after neighbors complained about their medical pot use.
“I understand it because I had that very same thought process, up until two years ago,” said Araujo.
In 2012, Araujo weighed 460 pounds, was on insulin and suffered from a nerve condition. With no health insurance, she said she could no longer afford prescription painkillers, so she started looking into medical marijuana.
“I went and set everything up with the state’s childcare division before I started medicating with marijuana. I wanted everything to be legal,” said Araujo.
The state put special provisions on her daycare license, which says she can’t smoke in the presence of childcare children and a second adult must be the primary caregiver when she’s under the influence.
She claims to be following all the rules.
She has also lost more than 200 pounds and no longer needs insulin.
“I no longer have diabetes so how can that not be a good thing,” said Araujo.
Her daughter and two other employees now have their own medical marijuana cards. None of them have health insurance.
They all claim to follow the provisions set up by the state. Several neighbors say they have concerns, but would not go on camera.
“I think it’s just a lack of knowledge. I wish people would just take a little time to educate themselves and stop being so judgmental,” said Araujo.
All the children have been moved to other daycares while the state investigates. Araujo says she’s getting support from many parents and looks forward to the state interviewing them and their children.