Medical Marijuana: Friend Or Foe In Schools

New Legislation Allows Students Who Are Prescribed To Use Medical Marijuana On Campus


Osceola County School District passes a policy allowing students to use medicinal marijuana on school premises. (PC Pixabay Isucc)

Katelyn Linden, Writer

Medical marijuana has been used statewide to help people cope with different conditions that make it hard to get through the day. A recent meeting at the Osceola County School Board was held debating whether students with a prescription could be given medical marijuana on campus.

On December 18, 2018 the school district of Osceola county passed a policy that allows students who have been prescribed, to use medical marijuana on school premises. It cannot be smoked or inhaled, nor can it be stored on campus. The parent or legal guardian would have to take it to the campus, meet the student at a set location approved by the principal at least 48 hours in advance, administer it to the student, then leave with the remainder.

I think the policy is balanced. The district is not mandating anyone to handle what is still an illegal substance under federal law while allowing children with serious illnesses the benefits of an effective medicine.” District 2, School Board Member, Kelvin Soto, stated.

 Medical marijuana is used to help treat and manage conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and help with things such as nausea and chronic pain, according to Medical Marijuana.

Well many students have serious cases of depression and anxiety and the numbers keep growing due to the pressure at home and at school and with the medical marijuana it helps them to regulate their brain levels. As well as people with epilepsy rather than use the pills( Depakote) a more natural solution would be marijuana. A friend of mine has a brother that has epilepsy and even with the Depakote they still had them and after he had medical marijuana they stopped since he started taking it.” junior, Tiffany Valentin, stated.

When medical marijuana is used when not needed or necessary it may cause side effects of short term memory loss, paranoia, and altered judgement, according to Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use.

“I think if its prescribed, it’s a good idea that kids can get the medicine they need and still go to school,” sophomore, Chloe Webber, stated.

  Even though California allows marijuana for recreational use, they had earlier vetoed the medical marijuana in school policy in September.

Jerry Brown, the governor of California, addressed that the policy is “overly broad as it applies to all students instead of limited cases where a doctor recommends medical marijuana for a student in order to prevent or reduce the effects of a seizure.”

He also stated, “Generally I remain concerned about the exposure of marijuana on youth and I am dubious on its use for youth for all ailments. This bill goes too far – further than some research has – to allow use of medical marijuana for youth. I think we should pause before going much further down this path.”

Medical marijuana is illegal in nineteen states, this may be due to an implied connection of increased automobile crashes and accidents at work with marijuana. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is illegal under federal law, it is also classified as a Schedule 1 drug. The Controlled Substances Act is a federal U.S policy that classifies all substances.

“The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places all substances which were in some manner regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules.  This placement is based upon the substance’s medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence” according to the Controlled Substances Act.

Sarah Berger has been a social worker for 16 years but has worked with children for roughly twelve years. As a social worker, Berger faces children with various ailments but has not worked with any students prescribed medical marijuana yet.

“I’d really have to say it’s situational depending on the child, you know if it’s seizures if it’s epilepsy. It’s certain things like that, I think it depends on case by case what’s going on with the child, what’s it needed for… ” Berger, said.