Medical Marijuana In Florida Creates Smoky Policy Challenge For State’s School Districts

John Houck - Author
By

Jul. 30 2017, Updated 7:27 a.m. ET

Medical marijuana in Florida was approved by Governor Rick Scott last month and now school districts statewide are struggling with one specific requirement of the legislation. Under the law, children with certain ailments can use cannabis while at school and the districts are obligated to make it available to students as needed.

While medical marijuana for children is legal in Florida, the schools are resistant to creating cannabis-use policy as the language used in the law is ambiguous and inconsistent. The law requires schools to store and manage cannabis like other medications but does not provide a clear definition as to who can administer it to students.

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Only an authorized caregiver can give medical marijuana to a child, yet the law does not afford school employees the power to act as a caregiver. Mitch Teitelbaum, an attorney for the Manatee County School District, says making schools provide the drug to students makes no sense when the school has no legal power to do so.

“The district is compelled to adhere to all state and federal laws,” said Teitelbaum, as reported by the Bradenton Herald. “But how do we do so with such inconsistency?”

The original medical cannabis law approved by Florida voters in November did not contain the school requirement provision, but was later modified to include it. This added amendment is causing both confusion and controversy to the new marijuana law.

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