It’s an advance for kids with epilepsy, but also a move sure to bring another round of right-wing media mockery upon California, as the state Assembly approves a measure allowing medical cannabis to be administered to children in public schools.
You cannot currently possess marijuana for any reason within 1,000 feet of a California school, according to current state law. But state law could be changing, as more medical researchers are concluding that the non-psychoactive cannabis compound CBD is quite effective in the treatment of childhood epileptic seizures. A new bill that just cleared the California state assembly Monday would allow medical marijuana in California K-12 schools, according to NBC Bay Area — but not the kind you smoke.
An Associated Press report being picked up by many local TV outlets makes no mention of who sponsored the bill nor its vote count, so we did some digging to find that the measure is called SB-223 Pupil health: administration of medicinal cannabis: schoolsites. It lists our own state senator Scott Wiener as a co-author, though it was introduced by Peninsula senator Jerry Hill. Though it’s technically a Senate bill, it did pass the state Assembly Monday by a 42-23 vote, but still faces a Senate vote and a number of other legislative hurdles before becoming law.
The bill is a reboot of last year’s failed Jojo’s Act effort, named for a now 20-year-old South San Francisco kid with severe epilepsy. Teachers would not be allowed to keep the cannabis or administer it; instead, parents would be allowed to bring doctor-prescribed cannabis onto school grounds, remove their child from class, and administer the drug privately. Some parents already do this, but they currently, technically have to drag their kid 1,000 yards away before giving them the CBD drops — something of a challenge if the child is experiencing a seizure.
NOTE: The bill would not effectively legalize cannabis in schools statewide. Instead, it would give local school boards the option of allowing medical cannabis at schools in their district, under the above guidelines.
This is essentially the same bill that Sen. Hill got passed by both statehouse chambers last year, only to see Gov. Jerry Brown veto the measure. Lawmakers who wrote several Brown-vetoed bills, like Wiener’s 4 a.m. last call bill, are taking another stab with the same laws in hopes that governor Gavin Newsom will sign these bills.
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