Medical marijuana could be coming to DC classrooms

With the mayor’s signature, medical marijuana could soon be administered inside D.C. schools. The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation Tuesday allowing kids to access their prescription in class.

“No student should have to choose between attending school and receiving treatment for a medical condition,” said At-Large Council member David Grosso in introducing the emergency legislation.

The current law, he said, restricts medical marijuana use to a residence or medical treatment facility, which leaves schools in a gray area of how to proceed when a child presents them with a prescription through the District Health Department’s medical marijuana program.

D.C. voters approved a medical marijuana program in 1999, but Grosso said congressional interference slowed its implementation, especially for minority user groups.

At-Large Council member Elissa Silverman weighed in about her friends’ experience in D.C. schools trying to navigate their son’s medical marijuana treatment for epilepsy.

“He had to wear a helmet. This impacted not only his health but his educational development as well. How would you like to be in the first grade and wear a bike helmet in class?” she asked fellow council members.

Eventually, she said, her friends moved out of the District to a city that allowed medical marijuana administration to children in school. “We don’t want them to leave homes to live a normal life. They should be able to live a normal life here,” she said before voting for the legislation.

The council passed the emergency legislation unanimously, which would grant kids in the District’s medical marijuana program the necessary permissions to take their prescribed dose in both public and charter schools.

Private schools can determine their own policies on medical cannabis accessibility.

Grosso intends to introduce permanent legislation later on, according to his office. He chose to introduce emergency legislation to get medicine to kids who need it now, they said, and avoid the timely congressional approval process that could delay getting kids their prescriptions in class.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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