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Lawmakers In Two States Pre-File Bills To Allow Medical Marijuana At Schools

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Students in Washington State and Virginia would be permitted to use medical marijuana on school grounds under separate bills that were pre-filed on Monday.

While the substance of the two pieces of legislation differ, the purpose of both is to ensure that students can continue to use cannabis in compliance with state law when they’re in school, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event.

The Virginia bill, authored by Delegate Chris Hurst (D), specifies that students may only use cannabidiol (CBD) or THC-A, which are non-intoxicating components of cannabis that are legal in the state for medical use. The legislation would amend state law to protect students who have valid medical marijuana recommendations from bring suspended or expelled from school. It’s not clear how the medicine could be administered, however.

Students in Washington State wouldn’t be limited to CBD and THC-A under a bill pre-filed by Rep. Brian Blake (D). That said, smoking cannabis on school property would still be prohibited.

The legislation requires school districts to “adopt a policy to authorize parents or guardians to administer marijuana to a student for medical purposes while the student is on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event.” The district must adopt the policy if a parent or guardian of a medical cannabis patient requests it.

Blake also included provisions that are designed to protect schools if the federal government threatens to withhold education funds because of the implementation of this policy.

Similar laws have already passed in several states, including Colorado, Illinois and Florida. But if the two newly pre-filed bills are any indication, this could be another post-legalization trend that will continue to develop in 2019 and beyond.


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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill in September that would have authorized parents to administer cannabis to their kids on school grounds. The governor said the legislation was “overly broad as it applies to all students instead of limited cases where a doctor recommends medical marijuana for a student in order to prevent or reduce the effects of a seizure.”

“Generally I remain concerned about the exposure of marijuana on youth and am dubious of its use for youth for all ailments,” he said.”This bill goes too far—further than some research has—to allow use of medical marijuana for youth. I think we should pause before going much further down this path.”

Teen Marijuana Use Remains Lower Than Pre-Legalization Levels, Federally Funded Survey Finds

Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based senior editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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