Bill would authorize medical marijuana on K-12 campuses

Bill would authorize medical marijuana on K-12 campuses

(Calif.) Parents and guardians of students authorized to receive medicinal marijuana would be allowed to provide non-smoking forms of the drug on school grounds and facilities, under legislation pending before lawmakers.

SB 1127 by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would give school boards, county boards and the governing body of charter schools the ability to put policies into place that would allow the therapeutic administration of marijuana. The bill would not require such policies to be adopted.

If approved, California would join New Jersey and Colorado as states giving local officials the choice to allow medical marijuana use on K-12 campuses.

Pain relief is perhaps the most common use of the drug under a doctor’s care, but health care experts say that marijuana can also be effective in reducing muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, nausea from chemotherapy as well as poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illnesses.

New Jersey, which became the first state in the nation to allow medicinal marijuana in 2015, also gave sick and disabled children the right to use non-smoking marijuana under legislation approved that same year.

Colorado lawmakers adopted “Jack’s law” in 2016, which give school districts the authority to allow the use of medicinal marijuana on campus.

More recently, the parents of an 11-year-old girl with leukemia have sued the state of Illinois in an effort to overturn a prohibition on the use of medicinal marijuana on campus. The case, which is pending before the federal court, raises the question of whether the child’s due process rights have been violated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Hill’s bill, which has the support of the California School Boards Association, is similar to those already enacted elsewhere.

  • Excluded from the law are all forms of the drug that can be smoked or vaped.
  • Administration of the drug cannot create a disruption or cause exposure to other students.
  • After the drug has been administrated, the parent or guardian must remove any remnants from the school site immediately.
  • The bill imposes no conditions on local officials in setting the use policy except that the action must follow current law and be taken up in regular board session.
  • The governing board can rescind the policy at any time or for any reason, including risk of losing federal funds as a result of the marijuana policy.
  • The legislation imposes no mandate on school personnel to handle or administer medicinal marijuana.

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