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Michigan lawmakers seek to let some students take medical marijuana on school grounds

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View our Fair Use Policy: here By Beth LeBlanc

Two Michigan Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation this week that would allow K-12 students to take medical marijuana and CBD-infused products on school premises.

The bills would change state law that requires students receiving medical marijuana or CBD products to be checked out of school and have it administered at least 1,000 feet from the school by a parent or guardian.

The legislation instead would allow for the administration of the products on school grounds, on the bus or at school-sanctioned activities by a student, school staff, guardian or parent.

Democratic Reps. Dylan Wegela of Garden City and Jimmie Wilson of Ypsilanti said the legislation is expected to affect roughly 200 students who are considered pediatric medical marijuana patients and whose school days are often disrupted when they receive treatment.

“The idea is essentially to make sure the kids are treated the same as anyone else with their medicine,” Wegela said.

The plan is dubbed “Jayden’s Law” after pediatric medical marijuana patient Jayden Carter, a Burton student who takes medical marijuana for Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The legislation was first introduced last session by former state Rep. Alex Garza, D-Taylor, and is modeled after a similar Illinois law. The bills did not receive a hearing under the former Republican majorities last session.

“Jayden has experienced so much and learned that medical marihuana worked for him, but still struggled to receive it while attending school,” Wilson said in a statement. “He came to Lansing to ask us to fix it.”

The bills by Wegela and Wilson were referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee.

“Jayden’s Law will allow students to access their approved medical marihuana products while helping them maintain classroom and extra-curricular success, and allow students and their families to have the same dignity as everyone else," Wegela said in a statement.

Several school groups contacted by The Detroit News said they were unfamiliar of the legislation.

The Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals voiced doubt about schools' ability to comply with the policy, if enacted.

"Because marijuana is a schedule 1 drug under federal law, the criminal and financial implications for schools and educators make this bill unworkable," said Wendy Zdeb, executive director for the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.

The legislation, which would apply to public and nonpublic schools, would encompass only non-smokable marijuana and would require a written treatment plan, written permission by a parent or guardian, supervision by a staff member and proof of a student’s pediatric medical marijuana card. The bills require schools to adopt “reasonable guidelines” for administering the products, including specifying certain staff members to supervise the process.

The legislation also would add protections for those administering the medical marijuana, including the child, parents, teachers, school nurses or bus drivers.

Both public and nonpublic schools would be barred from denying entry to a student who relies on medical marijuana and CBD-infused products.

However, the law does include an exception for schools to stop following the requirements "if the public school or nonpublic school receives a notice from a federal department that the public school or nonpublic school will lose federal funding as a result of the authorization."


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