While medical marijuana has been legal in Florida for nearly two years, many individual school districts have been slow to adopt policies and procedures that would ensure access to the medication. Fortunately, for students starting school tomorrow in Broward County, those that do need to take the drug as part of their treatment, will have the opportunity to do so.
Under the formal policy which was approved by Broward County district leaders last week, a student’s parent or qualified caregiver could bring medical marijuana to school and administer it if the child has the proper medical approval. This change comes to the relief of many parents of students using cannabis to treat epilepsy and seizures, as well as cancer, MS, and other medical conditions. For the students, newly permitted to use medical marijuana at school, they are able to gain back a sense of normalcy in their lives that they truly deserve.
The current Broward County school policy is as follows:
- A student’s parent or registered caregiver must submit a written request to the child’s principal at least 48 hours in advance.
- Fill out and submit the district’s “Authorization for Medical Marijuana/ Low-THC Cannabis Use for Qualified Students at School” form.
- Provide a copy of the student and caregiver’s Department of Health medical-marijuana registry identification card and a valid form of picture ID.
- Parent or caregiver will be responsible for administering the medicine.
- Principal will designate a place on school grounds where the medicine can be taken.
- Students are prohibited from using medical marijuana on school buses or on field trips.
- Students face expulsion if the rules are not followed.
In Palm Beach, while full protocols are still being developed by the health department’s executive director, students currently can be administered medical marijuana by school nurses. Medicine is required to be delivered daily to the school nurse by a parent and then returned to the parent at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the largest school district in Florida, Miami-Dade, has not developed nor has any plans to put a medical marijuana policy in place. Martin and St. Lucie counties are also among the school districts that have failed to to adopt policies, even though it was declared a requirement of every school district in the state by Florida legislature back in 2017.