A school district in Farmington, New Mexico has introduced policy allowing students to take medical marijuana while at school.
The Aztec school district policy is meant for kids enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. It would allow them to take the drug on school grounds, so long as it’s not through smoking or vaping.
The policy won’t permit schools to store medical marijuana on campus for student use. Instead, schools will allow the parents of students enrolled in the program to bring the drug to campus and administer it to their children. Students are not to administer the drug to themselves.
Aztec Superintendent Kirk Carpenter defended the decision from skeptics. “I know this is very controversial, but that’s why we brought this forward in the way we did,” he told the board, according to Farmington Daily Times. “We might not feel like we want to drive 55, but that’s the law, and this is the law.”
The policy brings the district in compliance with 2019 state legislation surrounding medical marijuana. Last April, the state passed Senate Bill 204, requiring access to the drug at schools for students with medical marijuana prescriptions, reported Farmington Daily Times. The new district policy is a revised version of one that was proposed, but rejected, in November.
Board members expressed mixed reactions to the move, the Farmington Daily Times reported. “It’s opening Pandora’s Box,” member Wayne Ritter said of the policy. “Shame on our legislature.” Ritter also expressed concern that the move could jeopardize federal anti-drug funding for the district.
“There’s no reason to be concerned,” Carpenter reassured Ritter, “we’re not going to lose that.”
Meanwhile, board member Roger Collins, who described himself as neither “pro- or anti-medical cannabis,” expressed concern about students in need of the drug being denied by the district, according to Farmington Daily Times.
The board approved the policy by a near-unanimous vote, yielding just one dissenting opinion.
Recent months have seen states across the US adopting similar policies around medical marijuana in schools. Last October, California introduced a bill to lift a ban on cannabis within 1,000 feet of schools in order to facilitate access for student patients, per the Sacramento Bee.
Meanwhile, the Clear Creek County school board in Colorado adopted policy to allow school employees to administer medical marijuana treatment last October, reports Westworld.
Medical Marijuana on Campus — Sources
Farmington Daily Times – “Aztec school board approves medical cannabis policy for students”
Sacramento Bee – “Medical marijuana to be allowed at California K-12 schools, with parents’ OK”
Westworld – “Clear Creek Schools Adopt Groundbreaking Medical Marijuana Policy”