California Assembly Votes to Allow Medical Marijuana at School

medical marijuanaParents of children in California schools are a step closer to being allowed to provide medical marijuana to their children on K-12 campuses.

Last week, the California Assembly approved a bill that would permit school boards to decide whether parents can administer medical marijuana on school campuses.  The bill notes that marijuana may only be administered via capsules or oils as no smoking or vaping would be permitted, and students can only receive the treatment if accompanied by a medical marijuana prescription.

Why Cannabis at School?
According to the Mayo Clinic, medical cannabis has been shown to help those suffering from a number of conditions, including:

  • ADHD;
  • Chronic pain;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Epilepsy or seizures;
  • Multiple sclerosis or severe muscle spasms;
  • Nausea, vomiting associated with cancer treatment; and
  • Tourette syndrome.

Although there is intense stigma and concern surrounding children and cannabis, the truth is, under the supervision of a meticulous medical doctor, children with conditions like cancer and epilepsy not only benefit from cannabis — they thrive. But parents can face serious penalties – up to an including jail time and custody loss – if they aren’t extremely careful in following the exact letter of the law. Consulting with a lawyer is something you should absolutely do if authorities are questioning your child’s use of medical marijuana, but it may be wise to reach out to an attorney before police come knocking.

If you need advice or help fighting for your right to administer medical marijuana to a child on a school campus, our California medical marijuana lawyers are here for you.

Current Law Needs Updating
As the law stands now, marijuana is not permitted on school campuses. That means, for children taking medical marijuana, they must either meet parents off campus, or parents must remove students from school to administer their medication, and then ensure children are returned to school again. Those in support of the bill point out that this protocol can be arduous and detract from students’ class time.

Meanwhile, opponents of the proposed change worry that allowing drugs on campus is opening a can of worms, and ask whether current regulations set in place for children taking medical marijuana are strong enough to keep students safe.

Californian Kids Inspire the Bill
The bills is carried by Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill, who said his legislation, if approved, would help children and teenagers suffering from severe medical challenges. Hill’s office noted that a San Francisco teenager in Hill’s district who suffered from up to 50 seizures a day, helped to inspire the bill. The teenager’s condition improved dramatically once beginning medical marijuana treatment.

A similar case in California, saw a school district try to prohibit a 5-year-old girl from bringing her cannabis oil to kindergarten with her. The girl’s family argued that was a violation of protections for disabled students.

A Santa Rosa court temporarily permitted the child to take her medicine with her to school, to help treat a rare form of epilepsy. The judge is currently weighing his final ruling.

Should Hill’s bill pass in the Senate, it will proceed to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Parents of children undergoing medical marijuana treatment will be hoping for a different outcome from last year, when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a very similar proposal.

Implications
It will be very interesting to see how the Senate votes on allowing children to be receive prescription medical marijuana on K-12 school campuses. Continuing to ask parents to administer medicine away from school is not only logistically challenging and time consuming, but can even be dangerous if students are having to move to and from school campuses unaccompanied throughout the course of the day.

On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect that should the bill pass, safeguards would need to be established to ensure that cannabis oils and capsules were secured from making their way into the possession of students not medically needing them. Should the bill pass, it will also be interesting to see how Gov. Newsom responds to the proposal, so soon after his predecessor prevented the bill’s passage just a year ago.

About Cannabis Law Group

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
The Mayo Clinic

 

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