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California Governor Jerry Brown vetoes bill which would have allowed parents to bring medical cannabis to school


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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

A bill that would have allowed parents of schoolchildren to bring their medical cannabis to their school for use during the day has been vetoed by Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown claimed he was worried that the wording of the bill might allow for children to be unduly exposed to cannabis.

“This bill is overly broad as it applies to all students instead of limited cases where a doctor recommends medical marijuana for a student in order to prevent or reduce the effects of a seizure,” Brown wrote. “Generally I remain concerned about the exposure of marijuana on youth and am dubious of its use for youth for all ailments.”

Medical cannabis advocates expressed disappointment over the veto, but it seems likely there will be another attempt to pass a similar bill. Many California parents argue their kids need medical cannabis for their ailments, and they want their kids to be able to have access to it while at school.

Debbie Churgai, associate director of Americans for Safe Access, said some children “need relief from symptoms at random points throughout the day. Children using cannabis for seizures or nausea, for instance, may require treatment during the school day.”

Churgai argued that it is unlikely children who do not need medical cannabis would be exposed to cannabis if it was administered at a specific place in the school like the nurse’s office. It’s not as if parents would be entering the classroom to give their kids cannabis.

“This is the same procedure used for aspirin or antibiotics,” Churgia said. “Remember that medical cannabis does not have to be smoked. There would not be smoke or odors in the school. Finally, the concern about children being around cannabis comes largely from lingering stigma associated with cannabis in general.”

Because parents are currently not allowed to bring their child’s medical cannabis to school, they currently have to remove their child from school to give them medical cannabis during the day. This is a serious hassle for parents and is disruptive for the child.

“Parents will have to pick up their children from school and take them home or to another safe place to administer medical cannabis,” Churgai said. “This is disruptive to the school day and time consuming. It may also be impossible for working parents to be available on short notice – i.e. to administer medical cannabis off school grounds to treat a seizure.”

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