Bay State high schools may soon have stoned students (lawfully) roaming the halls.
Under a proposal heard by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy on Tuesday, Massachusetts students with medical marijuana prescriptions would be allowed to use pot on school grounds.
“This issue is incredibly important,” state Sen. Susan Moran told her colleagues before speaking in support of S.59, or An Act to allow students access to prescription cannabis.
“Since medical marijuana use was legalized in 2012, thousands of patients across the commonwealth have been able to effectively utilize treatment under proper medical supervision. This includes school-age children, many of whom medical marijuana treatment has enabled to live more easily in their conditions,” she said.
Under current state law, marijuana use and possession is generally prohibited on school property. That means a student who uses marijuana to treat a condition could go through the full school day without their prescribed medication.
The bill, according to Moran, would allow school-age students who have been given medical marijuana prescriptions to treat a serious medical concern to use marijuana while they are on school property, just like any other medicine.
“The bill would remove the restriction on the possession and consumption of medical marijuana in school and on school grounds. Medical marijuana would be treated similarly to other prescription drugs. It should be carefully regulated and prescribed by a physician, but those with prescriptions should be able to take their medical marijuana when and where they need it,” the Plymouth lawmaker said.
If it sounds like changing the law would make every high school in the state into an Amsterdam coffee shop, Moran assured lawmakers that would not be the case. Most school-age patients, she said, take their THC in pill form and wouldn’t be hitting a bong in the nurse’s office.
“This bill wouldn’t transform elementary schools into any sort of college freshman dorm situation,” the senator told her colleagues. Any of her fellow lawmakers does not currently cosponsor Moran’s efforts, though similar language was included in last year’s omnibus cannabis reform legislation, passed by both chambers. However, then Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed that part of the bill.
Moran said that until the law is changed, parents will continue to have to leave work, drive to the school, and administer medication to their kids off-site “just to give their child the medicine that allows them to enjoy school and have an academic experience where they can excel.”
“This is very important to many, many families in Massachusetts,” she said.