In April of this year, New Mexico legislators approved a law that requires all schools to allow patients medicating legally with medical marijuana to be able to take their medicine at school. Of course, there are restrictions, such as it can’t be administered via smoke or vapor, and it can’t be in the possession of the student. Aztec District School Board adopted their own policy, and recently approved their own set of restrictions for medicating on campus.
“I know this is very controversial, but that’s why we brought this forward in the way we did,” said Aztec Superintendent Kirk Carpenter, “We might not feel like we want to drive 55, but that’s the law, and this is the law.”
The policy passed by the school board will require parents to bring the medicine to school, and they must administer the medication and then take anything extra home with them. Before this policy is put into effect, parents were uncertain on how to go about getting their child their medicine during school hours – a problem that plagues many parents who rely on medical marijuana to treat their child.
“When thinking about the policy as it stands and thinking about the different laws that are competing with it, I think that it is a policy that does right by those kids and our community,” said Arcai on Dec. 18 during a phone call.
Now, patients who are registered with New Mexico’s medical marijuana program will be able to go to school and medicate – assuming their parent is able to take the time out of their day to personally administer the medication. Other states have similar laws, and one consistent problem that remains is the fact that the medicine cannot be stored on campus and administered by a nurse, like any other medication. However, some parents are just happy to have a clear understanding of what they need to do to make sure their child can attend school while medicating with cannabis.
Any state that has medical marijuana and allows patients under 18 years old to be registered will run into this problem eventually. Some students have conditions that are so severe that without being able to medicate regularly, their parents must choose between a medicine that works and an education. The newly enacted policy in New Mexico intends to make it possible for these children to attend school, rather than forcing parents into homeschooling and tutors. Hopefully other New Mexico school districts – and cities and states across the country – will implement similar policies to give these patients a fair shot at a public education.