California

Medical marijuana to be allowed at California K-12 schools, with parents’ OK

California school districts now have the option of allowing parents to administer medical marijuana on-campus under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, lifts a prohibition on cannabis possession within 1,000 feet of a school and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Hill has dubbed the bill “Jojo’s Act,” named for a South San Francisco teenager who has severe and debilitating epilepsy who takes medicinal cannabis to block seizures.

“By signing Jojo’s Act, Gov. Newsom has lifted barriers for students with severe medical disabilities for whom medicinal cannabis is the only medication that works,” Hill said in prepared remarks. “Medicinal cannabis for children is not recreational cannabis for adults. It’s not buds, it’s not plants, it’s not joints, and it’s not a substance that provides a high. For children who rely on regular doses each day to prevent seizures, medicinal cannabis enables them to attend school and have an educational experience with their peers.”

Under the new law, the student must have a valid prescription, which the school must keep on file. The cannabis cannot be smokable or vapable and cannot be stored on campus.

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California becomes the ninth state to allow medical cannabis use on a K-12 school campus, joining Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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