DENVER (AP) — Colorado schools would be forced to allow students to use medical cannabis under a bill that cleared its first hurdle Monday at the state Legislature.
“This is not about two kids smoking a joint between cars in a parking lot,” said Jennie Stormes, mother of a teenage boy suspended from school last year for having yogurt mixed with cannabis pills to treat a disease that gives him seizures.
Colorado would be the second state after New Jersey to require schools to accommodate medical marijuana as long as it is in non-smokeable form and is administered by a nurse or caregiver.
School officials testified against the requirement, saying marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Kathleen Sullivan, a lawyer for the Colorado Association of School Boards, said the requirement could endanger about $433 million in federal money that goes to Colorado public schools.
“This is a bill that asks you to gamble with local money,” Sullivan said.
But dozens of parents packed a Monday hearing to say their children are unable to attend school because schools forbid marijuana treatments.
“They need to make reasonable accommodations so that children who need medical marijuana can go to school,” said Stacey Linn, a Lakewood mother of a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy who is not allowed to wear a skin patch delivering a cannabis-derived treatment to school.
The bill passed 10-3 and now awaits a vote by the full House.
Read the Rest