Pinellas County school board approves plan to establish medical marijuana policy

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pinellas County School Board has approved a plan to establish a policy regarding students using medical marijuana.

Using marijuana on campus could once land you in big trouble but as more students turn to it for medical treatment, school districts now have to set guidelines on how to administer the now-legal drug. Every school district in Florida needs to make the decision in order to meet a state deadline.

“It’s a new age and they’re finding new things and if that helps a child, why not?” asked Bernice Passaretti, who has one grandson.

New treatments, new laws and new ways of dealing with medicine once forbidden in Florida schools.

“Maybe it’s a good idea, maybe it’s a bad idea. It just depends on how it’s worked for the kids,” said Sally Nguyen.

Dr. David Berger with Wholistic Pediatrics suggests, in some cases, an extended delivery system like a patch might help parents. He’s also working with another school to draft their policy for medicinal marijuana.

“I think it’s very reasonable to just take the similar approach that we take with other controlled substances. A kid can’t just bring the Ritalin to school and pop it during lunch either,” said Dr. Berger.

What makes this tricky is, while medicinal marijuana is legal in Florida, at the national level it’s not and schools don’t want to lose out on federal funding.

Florida school districts have until Dec. 1 to submit a draft, and until the end of the year to approve it as a set policy. The public will have a chance to speak out about the policy at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.

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