School Nurses May Soon Be Able to Administer Pot in Colorado


Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. In almost all those states, the user must be an adult, over the age of 18. And while most of us are OK with adults having a joint like they would a cigarette or a beer, we might be taken aback by school nurses giving students weed. After all, aren’t schools drug free zones?

Perhaps no longer in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize it. A Colorado law allowing school nurses to administer medical marijuana just passed an important House committee vote, the bill will now move to the House for debate.

Cannabis for the Children

The bill, HB18-1286, would give Colorado’s school nurses the same authority as parents when giving kids medical marijuana:

Under current law, a primary caregiver may possess and administer medical marijuana in a nonsmokeable form to a student while the student is at school. The bill allows a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee, who may or may not be an employee of the school, or school personnel designated by a parent to also possess and administer medical marijuana to a student at school.

The bill is careful to point out that parents or primary caregivers must provide a “written plan for administering medical marijuana prior to the student starting school,” and that the students themselves “shall not handle the medical marijuana on the grounds of the school, school bus, or school-sponsored event.”

Protection From Pot Prosecution

Colorado, at least at the moment, still designates schools as drug-free zones, and sale of
a controlled substance within a drug-free zone carries an eight-year mandatory minimum sentence. The proposed law, however, would exempt nurses and school personnel administering medical marijuana:

The bill provides a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee or the school personnel designated by a parent protection from criminal prosecution if he or she possesses and administers medical marijuana to a student at school.

The bill still has a ways to go before becoming law. If you’re wondering what the current law is regarding drugs on your child’s school campus, contact an education attorney in your area.

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