A new bill proposed by a San Mateo state senator would allow children as young as kindergarten to take medicinal cannabis on campus.
Senate Bill 1127, introduced last week by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would allow parents and guardians of school children with special needs or disabilities to administer medicinal cannabis at school. In California, both medical and recreational marijuana are prohibited within 1,000 feet of all K-12 schools by law. This bill would change that.
Washington, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and Maine have all passed similar legislation.
If passed, the bill would give school districts the option to allow guardians to bring medicinal cannabis products in the form or capsules, oils, liquids, tinctures or topical cream. Smoking or vaping marijuana will not be allowed.
Nurses, however, will not be allowed to administer medical marijuana to any students, regardless of the fact they are able to give children prescribed drugs.
“The problem of asking school personnel to administer what today is a federal crime is not something I think we should be doing,” Hill told the San Francisco Examiner. “That’s why a parent would administer it.”
Public schools receive federal funding, and Hill said he did not want to jeopardize any sources of income for schools who opt into the new bill.
San Mateo County school officials provided information to help Hill draft this legislation based on their student’s needs.
“Our goal is to help students in our special education program safely receive the care they need. Currently, students who are prescribed medical marijuana must leave our facilities in order to receive their treatments,” Anne Bartlett, a spokesperson for the San Mateo County Office of Education, told the Examiner. “This interrupts their education, affecting their ability to learn and our ability to offer a safe, inclusive environment.”
The bill does not specify where a parent would administer the medicinal marijuana on campus, but Hill said there are private spaces already allotted for children to be given prescription drugs during school hours.
“In some cases, there are opioids that are given to students,” he said. “I think schools have some place and ability and opportunity to do that.”
The bill is expected to be voted on next month.