By Jason Barker for Cannabis News Journal
On Thursday, April 4th 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham made history for the state of New Mexico by signing into law Senate Bill 204, Medical Cannabis in Schools.
Currently there are now eight states and one capital city with comprehensive medical cannabis programs allowing medical cannabis in schools: Oklahoma City and these states; NEW MEXICO, New Jersey, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois. All have successfully set forth rules and regulations for allowing safe access to medical cannabis while attending public schools.
No school or school district in the US has ever lost any federal funding for allowing safe access to medical cannabis at school, nor has there been any problems.
California, New York, Virginia and Washington all have active 2019 Legislation for Allowing Safe Access to Medical Cannabis in School that is expected to pass into law.
June 14th 2019 is the effective date of this new law now allowing safe access to medical cannabis at schools for New Mexico.
Here is what Parents and Caregivers can do now that Senate Bill 204 is Law:
There are three (3) components to the bill that parents and caregivers will need to prepare for your student. A written treatment plan for the administration of the medical cannabis will need to be created. The written treatment plan has to be agreed to and signed by the principal or the principal's designee of the qualified student's school and the qualified student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
In addition to the written treatment plan, a qualified student's parent or legal guardian need to complete and submit documentation as required by local school board or charter school rules that include:
(a) copy of the qualified student's written certification for use of medical cannabis pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.
(b) written statement from the qualified student's parent or legal guardian releasing the school and school personnel from liability, except in cases of willful or wanton misconduct or disregard of the qualified student's treatment plan.
When preparing the documentation listed above, Parents and Caregivers can contact the medical professional(s) that recommended the medical cannabis for the student and the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program office for a copy of the qualified student's written certification into the medical cannabis program. It may be helpful as well to contact the Dispensary frequented for the students medicine.
In preparing the written treatment plan; it may also be very helpful to contact the medical professional that recommended the medical cannabis for the student, as each treatment plan is going to be unique to each students needs. It may also be beneficial to contact the Dispensary frequented for the students medicine if they have any registered nurses or medical professionals on staff.
These medical professionals can help you devise a plan for regularly scheduled dosing instructions for the plan and what will need to be done for emergency dosing and creating a solid emergency contact list. The types of medical cannabis products in the treatment plant are to be in a form that is not an aerosol and cannot be smoked or inhaled in particulate form as a vapor or by burning.
Other crucial aspects of the written treatment plan will want to address the various changes in the school setting your student goes through; such as in the legislation it states a "school setting" means any of the following locations during a school day:
(a) a school building;
(b) a school bus used within the state during, in transit to or in transit from a school-sponsored activity;
(c) a public vehicle used within the state during, in transit to or in transit from a school sponsored activity in the state; or
(d) a public site in the state where a school-sponsored activity takes place”.
And those are all aspects of the “school setting” in the written treatment plan Parents and Caregivers are going to want to provide detailed directions if the medical cannabis medicine is needed by your student.
For the third document, releasing the school and school personnel from liability, you will be creating a legal document and should talk to your personal attorney if you have one available. If not, the University of New Mexico School of Law has a Community Lawyering program and a The Child and Family Justice Clinic (CFJC) that can provide free help or put you in touch with free help.
(Contact for the UNM School of Law- Phone: 505-277-2146)