To discourage minors from using marijuana, officials have implemented many regulations. But in regards to medical marijuana and the children who benefit from it, there comes a question of who is really being protected.
Some children use cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, creams, or liquids as treatment for medical issues with the recommendation and guidance of a physician. These treatments can offer relief to suffering that might otherwise prohibit the child from normal participation in school activities. However, the treatment itself has become a disruption: currently parents must remove children from school property before administering doctor recommended medical marijuana, according to a report from South San Francisco Patch.
Sen. Jerry Hill (D-Mateo) is hoping to put an end to this absurd practice with the introduction of SB-1127. The bill would allow governing bodies of school systems and charter schools to set their own policies, opening the door to allow medical marijuana use on school grounds for grades kindergarten through 12. It would still, of course, prohibit smoking or vaping, even if it is for medicinal purposes. The drug cannot be administered in a way that would be disruptive to the educational environment or that would expose other students. And storage of medical marijuana would not be permitted on school grounds.
The process would therefore still be a disruption for caregivers, who would need to come to the school to dole out the necessary dosage. Parents would still be required to manage and administer the drug without assistance from a school nurse or administrator. But at least children would not be ripped from their daily activities and dragged off school property, just to be used as a prop in some ridiculous point about marijuana.
It is important to teach minors about risks and why marijuana is regulated and should only be used recreationally by adults. But it is also true that cannabis is beneficial when used for children with special medical needs. Treating marijuana like radioactive material that can’t even be in the same building as the other children is only perpetuating the stigma of years past. We must arm the next generation with facts and understanding as well as protections and regulations.
It’s been more than two decades that medical marijuana has been available in California, with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And with Prop 64 recently going into effect, cannabis will be in the public consciousness more than ever. Children are going to have questions. Hauling their classmates off campus to responsibly and legally receive medical treatment is alarming and confusing, and will not be a deterrent to the other students who might be curious. Grandstanding and symbolic restrictions are no replacement for education.
Our medical marijuana lawyers in Orange County applaud any steps toward easier access of cannabis for patients and deconstructing myths and stigmas surrounding marijuana. This next generation will grow up in a world where marijuana is commonplace. But there is absolutely a time and a place for it. It is up to all of us to teach them responsibility, rather than rely on scare tactics so they can lead us all into a brighter future.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
CA Lawmaker Seeks to Allow Cannabis Medicine in Schools, Feb. 16, 2018, South San Francisco Patch
More Blog Entries:
Medical Marijuana for Children with Serious Medical Conditions, March 6, 2016, Medical Marijuana Lawyers Blog