The Pluses and Minuses of Allowing Medical Marijuana at School
By Samantha Young
Every day at noon, Karina Garcia drives to her son’s South San Francisco high school to give him a dose of cannabis oil to prevent potentially life-threatening seizures.
But she can’t do it on campus. She has to take Jojo, a 19-year-old with severe epilepsy, off school grounds to squirt the drug into his mouth, then bring him back for his special education classes.
It doesn’t matter that Jojo has a doctor’s note to take the drug, nor that the medication is legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes in California. Marijuana use is strictly forbidden on school sites because it violates federal law.
“To go into the classroom every day and have to grab your child, walk down the block, give them a dose and return them, it’s so disruptive,” said Garcia, 38, who explained that prescription drugs didn’t stop Jojo’s seizures and left him in a zombie-like state. Jojo can’t administer the drug himself because he has developmental disabilities and uses a wheelchair, she said.
A growing number of parents and school districts across the country face similar problems as more people turn to medical marijuana to treat their sick children, often after pharmaceutical remedies have failed.
Now California is considering a law that would allow parents to administer medical marijuana to their kids at school, setting up a potential showdown with the federal government.