Tampa Bay school boards draft policies on medical marijuana administration


PASCO CO., Fla. (WFLA) – School Boards around Tampa Bay are assessing their policies on the administration of medical marijuana to students who need it. Today, Pasco County will vote on its medical marijuana policy.

Early this month, superintendents across the state received a memo from the Florida Department of Education addressing the recently proposed bill to clarify language about medical marijuana use for students.

SB 720, filed on Oct. 31, would allow parents of students needing medical marijuana to authorize an additional caregiver who can administer the marijuana during the school day.

The memo from the Florida DEP gave school districts until Dec. 1 to submit a draft policy to state officials. If those policies aren’t adopted by Dec. 31 of this year, the districts risk loss of funding from the state.

Most counties in the Tampa Bay area have policies drafted that follow suggested state guidelines.

For example, Pinellas County’s policy draft, which can be found here, reads, in part:

“A qualified student may designate no more than one caregiver to assist with the qualified student’s medical use of marijuana unless:

a. The qualified student is a minor and the designated caregivers are parents/legal guardians of the qualified student; OR

b. The qualified student is an adult who has an intellectual or developmental disability that prevents the student from being able to protect or care for himself/herself without assistance or supervision and the designated caregivers are the parents or legal guardians of the qualified patient.

If a qualified student is younger than 18 years of age, only a caregiver may administer marijuana for medical use by the qualified patient. If a qualified student is 18 years of age or older and not under the care of a legal guardian, and is not an Adult Student, s/he may self-administer in the place of the caregiver, but may not be in possession of medical marijuana on school grounds until the time of administration.”

The Hernando County School Board’s policy draft, written with similar language, can also be easily accessed here.

Florida legalized medical marijuana five years ago with the “Charlotte’s Web” law. The state’s legislation allows the use of medical marijuana for seizures, cancer and other illnesses.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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