Parents and guardians of School District 51 students can now administer medical marijuana on school grounds, according to a policy adopted by the Board of Education this week.
The policy allows parents, guardians or caregivers to dispense non-smokable marijuana — such as oils, tinctures, edible products or lotions — at school if their child has a medical marijuana license.
School board members considered and then tabled the policy at a May 22 meeting, stating that they were waiting to see if Gov. John Hickenlooper was going to sign House Bill 1286 into law.
Hickenlooper did sign HB1286, which allows school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students, but it didn’t change the District 51 policy. Only parents or guardians, not District 51 staff, can administer medical marijuana.
Nursing Coordinator Tanya Marvin said keeping school nurses separate from medical marijuana is the right decision.
“It’s a conflict between the Colorado Nurse Practice Act and some of our regulatory agencies, so it makes it really sticky,” Marvin said. “I get that parents would like that convenience so they don’t have to leave their jobs in the middle of the day, but it’s a legal quagmire in my mind.”
Marvin said she does not know how many District 51 students take medical marijuana and has only heard from one family that wanted a school nurse to administer it to their child.
“I know several parents were leaving campus with their kids and giving it because they didn’t allow it on campus, so it will be really interesting to see if it will have an impact at all on our campuses,” Marvin said.
School board member Paul Pitton said there are plenty of safeguards in the policy to make sure that only the few students who need medical marijuana will benefit.
“Students who need it, need it to function normally and be able to sit in class,” Pitton said. “This helps them. Anything outside of that is not acceptable.”
The district can also suspend the policy if federal funding is jeopardized by medical marijuana being administered on school grounds.