The law would allow some parents to administer medical cannabis to their children while at school.
The California Legislature has approved a bill that would allow some students to use medical marijuana on school campuses. SB-1127, by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), would give school districts the ability to adopt policies allowing students with severe disorders or special needs to consume cannabis without having to leave school grounds.
While minors in California have been permitted to access medical cannabis since 1996, as of now state law prevents schools from allowing use while on campus. If the new bill is signed into law, schools are not mandated, but will have the option to decide whether to allow parents to give cannabis to students with the appropriate doctor’s recommendation.
“Senate Bill 1127 lifts barriers for students who need medical cannabis to attend school,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, in a statement.
“This legislation gives these students a better chance to engage in the educational process with other young people in school districts that decide to allow parents to come administer the dose their child requires. I am grateful for the bipartisan support of my colleagues on SB 1127 and welcome any questions Governor Brown may have as he considers this important legislation.”
SB-1127 does limit the types of cannabis products that would be allowed on school grounds to non-smoking, non-vaping forms, such as capsules, oils, tinctures, and topical creams. The law would prohibit parents from administering medical cannabis products in a way that “creates a disruption to the educational environment or causes exposure to other pupils.” Additionally, the cannabis could not be stored at school, so parents would need to bring the product and take anything that remains with them.
SB-1127, also known as Jojo’s Act, takes the namesake of a San Francisco High School student with epilepsy who struggled with more than 50 seizures a day. The bill has the support of the California School Boards Association.
The legislation was first approved by the Senate with a 32-7 vote before being passed in the Assembly 42-20.
SB-1127 now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision. If the bill is signed into law, California will become the eighth state to allow students to use medical cannabis at school. Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and Washington already have such policies in place.
California’s Medical Marijuana Program
California was the first of now 30 states to legalize medical marijuana. Proposition 215 was approved by 56 percent of state voters in 1996, making cannabis for medical purposes legal for any patient with either a written or oral recommendation from a physician.
While the state’s law lists specific qualifying conditions, it also allows doctors to recommend cannabis for any chronic or persistent medical symptom.
Medical marijuana patients in California can legally possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana. They can also personally cultivate 6 mature and 12 immature plants to use for medicinal reasons, unless the doctor’s recommendation specifies a higher amount.
Learn More about Medical Marijuana
UPDATE 10/1/2018: On September 28, 2018, Gov. Brown vetoed the measure that would have allowed parents to bring medical cannabis to school campuses for their children in districts that approve the practice. The governor said he was uncomfortable that the proposal would increase cannabis exposure to minors.
“This bill is overly broad as it applies to all students instead of limited cases where a doctor recommends medical marijuana for a student in order to prevent or reduce the effects of a seizure,” the governor wrote in his veto message.
“Generally I remain concerned about the exposure of marijuana on youth and am dubious of its use for youth for all ailments,” he added. “This bill goes to far — further than some research has — to allow use of medical marijuana for youth. I think we should pause before going much further down this path.”