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California Advances Bill to Allow Medical Cannabis in K-12 Schools

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The California Assembly has given its stamp of approval to a bill that would allow children to consume medical cannabis on K-12 public school campuses, according to The Associated Press. The decision came on Monday, and it gives school boards the authority to decide whether or not parents can administer medical cannabis to their children while on school property. The medical cannabis would have to be in a non-smokable form. 

It’s no secret that cannabis has been used medically by children, especially those who suffer from seizure conditions. Currently, students who attend public schools in California who consume medical cannabis have to interrupt their day and leave school campuses in order to be administered their medication. Those who support the bill believe this requirement is unnecessary, outdated and burdensome to students. Forcing students to leave takes away from their time to learn. 

Those against the bill have expressed concern about having medical cannabis physically on campus. The bill still needs approval by the California State Senate, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom. Last year, former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have allowed medical cannabis on school campuses. Gov. Newsom, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter of the state’s recreational cannabis industry. 

While this legislation would be the first of its kind in the state of California if it passes, more mature cannabis markets have already enacted this common sense legislation. In Colorado, school nurses are able to administer medical cannabis to students. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1286 in June 2018, which allows the administering of non-smokable medical cannabis to students who have who have parental permission for the medicine.  

Washington also allows students who are registered medical cannabis patients to use their medicine while on public school campuses. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill in April 30, which went into effect immediately. Before signing the bill, he said, “Currently children who need medical marijuana . . . have to leave school. They’re missing valuable time.” 

Parents of children who consume medical cannabis in California hope that California’s legislature continues to show support of this important bill.

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