Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) have shown a host of medicinal benefits, most notably for epilepsy in children. However, many parents fear the ramifications of giving their child CBD at school.
We note that the subject contained in this article represents illegal activity in certain jurisdictions. Whilst we do not condone any acts which are contrary to any such laws, we understand that readers in those jurisdictions which have decriminalised cannabis may find this article of interest.
Many families are now evangelizing the cannabis plant for its therapeutic benefits to address illnesses such as ADHD, epilepsy, dystonia and other disabilities in children. However, there are many different degrees of risk at play when using cannabis' CBD while on school premises. For minors, cannabis consumption may be allowed in legalized states, however, many school policies are set on a local level. Such provides few protections for its consumption, regardless of medical recommendation.
CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, is a non-psychoactive extract (mainly found in hemp plants) and is consumed to help address a variety of health conditions. Yet, despite the great number of success stories, scientific breakthroughs, and cannabis policy advancements, there still seems to be plenty of grey area to address regarding its consumption.
If you're a parent of someone who consumes cannabis for medical purposes and are searching for conventional alternatives, take a look at the following guidelines below to learn about the school-district policies, as well as state laws for administering cannabis' CBD to minors.
Where is Cannabis Consumption Legal For Minors?
Although rules vary state to state, many stamped their approval on the administration of medical cannabis only. With a medical recommendation or release form, a parent is legally allowed to administer medical cannabis to children 18 and younger as their caregiver in many states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, to name a few.
The following thirteen other states below prohibit the consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes, though, children suffering from epilepsy are allowed to consume CBD oil: Alabama, Florida, Georgie, Illinois (consumption only allowed by adults with certain conditions and epileptic minors), Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Administering Cannabis In School
From antidepressants to stimulants, all kinds of psychotropic medications are given to pediatric patients in school to treat their condition. Yet, it seems that the stance on cannabis is quite stubborn, even in the case of products containing hemp-derived (non-psychoactive) CBD extracts.
Even more interesting, is the fact that schools can disallow the consumption of cannabis by children under 18, even if it's allowed by state law.
Bringing cannabis products to school can get a child suspended, or even worse, expelled for possession or getting a positive drug test result.
According to a report conducted by the School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) of the CDC, 29.6% of middle and high school districts adopted a drug testing policy — either for "for-cause" situations or random tests, which are geared more towards athletes and those in extracurricular activities.
In a 2002 ruling, the Supreme Court case Board of Education v. Earls endorsed the policy of random drug-testing at school, which is surprisingly growing, in spite of studies showing its ineffectiveness. Whether drug testing kids at school or at home, the strong reservations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes more research is required on both safety and efficacy before implementing any programs.
Jack's Amendment Of Colorado Fought Back
Despite the fact medical cannabis has been legal in many states for years, most school grounds have "zero-tolerance" drug policies. Somehow, lawmakers have seemed to turn a blind eye on kids and didn't take into account that they might need cannabis while at school. As more students have started using it to address their medical issues, the tug of war for the right to consume medical cannabis seems to have become more difficult.
Let's take a brief look at Jack Splitt's story, a fifteen-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy.
To help with his spasms and other related symptoms Splitt was administered a non-psychoactive high-CBD patch, though, school policy caused him to be banished from the school and to never return.
After the story broke publicly, legislators in Colorado quickly scrambled to draft and pass the Jack's Amendment, allowing the administration of high-CBD medicine in schools. With the help of Jack's Amendment, children from Colorado don't have to make the saddening choice of either taking their medicine or attending school.
Courageous families such as the Splitt's perfectly demonstrates that fighting for the consumption of medical cannabis can work. Unfortunately, as cannabis consumption for minors isn't fully legal on a national level, Splitt won't be the only kid to bump heads with a school district concerned about the legalities.
What If My Child's School Prohibits CBD Consumption?
As drug policies vary district to district, it's important you that learn your local school's policy if you are a parent of a pediatric patient who consumes products containing cannabis and its constituents such as CBD. We recommend that you reach out to your child's school district and ask the following questions:
- What are your drug policies?
- Is the consumption of cannabis' CBD permitted on school grounds with a doctor's note?
- Do you perform "for-cause" or random drug testing and if so, how is this kind of protocol carried out?
Certainly, this isn't about the desire of consuming some "drug" and despite the negative stigma surrounding the cannabis plant, CBD has no potential for addiction and no harms to use have been found.
Instead, this is about getting children to the proper education and medical care that they need. Cannabis along with its vast amounts of therapeutic compounds have incredible medical value and work to benefit adults and children alike.
For schools with drug policies that are anti-medical cannabis, parents of children who consume cannabis for medicinal purposes can fight for change by utilizing the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) list of ways to help change cannabis policy, including speaking at school board meetings or enlisting passionate educators to help spread awareness on the issue and cannabis in general.
There are a ton of products containing CBD available on the market, however, we sure hope that schools will soon begin to build special curriculums to teach kids about medical cannabis, the same way they're taught sex-ed.
For years, children have been taught that drugs are bad, and illegal drugs are especially bad. As cannabis and cannabidiol continue to occupy this grey area of legalization, the messages that children are taught about cannabis products is crucial, as more and more children will likely be using cannabinoid medicines in the near future.
And for parents out there, in order to learn what will work best for your kid(s), it's important that you choose pure, high-quality CBD products from a reputable company and always consult with your primary healthcare provider for guidance and further information.
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