Colorado schools may soon be forced to allow students to use medical marijuana in a non-smokeable form while on school grounds. It's already allowed under state law – but no districts have created access policies, leaving many families frustrated.
To remedy this, House Bill 16-1373 [.pdf] has been proposed to require all school districts – even those without policies – to allow parents or caregivers to administer medical marijuana on school grounds. To find out more about the debate, we talked to reporters working under the gold dome.
Highlights From Capitol Conversation With Bente Birkeland
On What The Bill Would Do
Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: "Only one school district out of the 178 in the state actually is talking about it. They haven't actually passed anything, but they appear poised to do so….The sponsor Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) decided to up the anti a bit…to get the votes he needed he basically says even if they don't adopt a policy parents can go onto school grounds and can bring children these medications."
Peter Marcus, The Durango Herald: "It's Colorado, local control. They don't want to mandate to school districts what they have to do, and that's probably the biggest fight going forward with this."
On The Type Of Students That Would Qualify
Marcus: "Kids are not going to be bringing joints to school. This is really specialist strains of marijuana that some parents have called a miracle when dealing with seizures for epilepsy and other conditions kids have. The kids don't get high. It's usually an oil, but that's the whole thing, it's this perception that's going around."
Ashby: "It's not legal federally. FDA does not recognize it as a drug, so it doesn't fit under the same kind of thing, so the schools are afraid that if they let medical marijuana on campus as a policy they'll lose federal funding. Basically they said to the legislature, OK if you want to do this hold us harmless, make sure you're going to give us the money we would lose if we're going to lose it."