District 51 Board ponders Medical Marijuana Policy

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on May 29, 2018.

The members of School District 51 Board of Education are mulling over introducing a new policy that would allow parents to administer medical marijuana to their children on school grounds.

The board members considered the policy for the first time last week. As per the new policy, a child, who has a medical marijuana license, can be given non-smokeable marijuana like oils, tinctures, edible products or lotions on the premises of the school by his/her parents, guardians or caregivers.

"We want to take into account that we've got students who have some medical needs, and so we're trying to accommodate that, but there could be issues with the federal government," said School board member Paul Pitton.

However, the policy may need further revision before its approval.

"It's been hard for all of us to go in that direction, but there's a lot of political pressure to do this," Pitton said. "The bottom line is we're trying to make sure we take care of kids and allow them to have the best education possible. So if (medical marijuana) is something that for the very select few makes a difference and helps them, I guess we have to go along with that," he added.

Permission for medical marijuana on school campus can be revoked if the student or the parent violates the policy "or demonstrates an inability to responsibly follow this policy's parameters."

Additionally, the School District superintendent can suspend the policy "if the federal government indicates that the district's federal funds are jeopardized" by medical marijuana being administered on school grounds.

Like other school districts in Colorado, District 51 is yet to create rules based on a 2015 state law that allows parents to administer medical marijuana to their children at school.

In a move to allow school nurses and qualified staff members to administer medical marijuana to students at school, Colorado lawmakers passed House Bill 1286 this year. However, the bill is yet to get Gov. John Hickenlooper's signature.

If signed by Hickenlooper, HB1286 would not require school nurses or staff to administer medical marijuana, but it gives them the option to do so and regulates the process.

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