Pending legislation, California schools could see medical marijuana use

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Parents would be allowed to administer medical marijuana at schools

A bill that would allow parents in California to administer medical marijuana to their children at school faces one last hurdle – the signature of the state’s governor, Jerry Brown. If approved, the new law would allow individual school boards to decide whether or not medical cannabis would be permissible on school property, provided it is accompanied by doctor’s note and is in a form that cannot be smoked or vaped. While the move could provide substantial relief to a number of children, the hurdle is a big one. If Governor Brown approves the bill, he could face sanctions by the federal government.

The federal government still classifies marijuana as having no significant medical benefits, despite a number of studies to the contrary. Any state law that forwards a pro-marijuana agenda can jeopardize the state’s position in front of the federal government, and the subject of schools is especially touchy. State school systems are subsidized by federal dollars, provided they meet a number of criteria, one of which being that they remain a drug-free zone.

California may not need to stress too much over the possibility of losing funding, though. Seven states – New Jersey, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Florida, Delaware and Illinois – of the 31 where medical marijuana use is legal allow it to be used on school property. To date, the federal government has not intervened.

The bill in California would make it easier for parents to care for their children. Currently, they must sign their children out of school and then take them back. Not only is this disruptive to the families, but also to the classmates and impacts the amount of time spent learning. However, it is the only current legal option available to the families.