What issues face medical cannabis in schools?
The ability to use medical cannabis at school is imperative for those students who face disabilities that can be mitigated by it. One of the critical issues that face the legalization of cannabis use in schools is the necessity of secure storage. Allowing cannabis to be administered at school is important not only to the student who needs the medication, but also to parents and caregivers, as having to administer cannabis offsite is time consuming and illogical. Children who need cannabis products for their health issues must have it available when needed. As well, allowing cannabis to be administered at school corroborates its effectiveness and place as a serious pharmaceutical.1
A new bill would have to include who may administer cannabis products at school. Although determining a caregiver is important, it is also important to include whether or not cannabis storage onsite will be allowed. Allowing cannabis storage onsite at school would be beneficial, as a student would have access to their medication when needed. Unfortunately, schools that have “Drug Free” zones are threatened by the Schedule 1 designation of cannabis and the possibility of losing federal funding. Most likely, this would not happen because of Department of Justice priorities. Having a suitable secure storage space for medical cannabis can allay some fears that parents, teachers, administration, and the government have about having it on school grounds.
For instance, cannabis products, including CBD, would have to be stored in a secure container out of normal sight of children and the public. This container must have at least a 4-digit secured lock and provide adequate security as not to be carried away. Access should be restricted to the caregiver (possibly a school nurse), the principal/vice principle, and one other higher-ranking administration official. This would preclude wide access to the cannabis products from children, staff, and other adults. With standardized storage regulations, lawmakers can be more confident that medical cannabis will be used appropriately on school grounds.
- Lekh, K. Testimony in Support (with Amendments) of House Bill 617 (2020), Public Health Law Clinic-University of Maryland Cary School of Law.