School-aged children in Oregon can be medical marijuana cardholders as long as they have a diagnosed qualifying condition. The issue is if they can access to their medicine during school hours. The school could lose federal funding if children are administered the medicine on school grounds.
Epilepsy is one of the main health conditions that children use the medicine for in Oregon, The World reports. Medical notes are provided to patients, but they are expensive — $400. The medical notes are only issued after a confirmation of diagnosis by a doctor is received.
Brad Bixler of the North Bend School District said, “This is a problem for schools. What we’re finding is that some kids have a need and families have reached outside of the traditional realms of medicine for products derived from the cannabis plant, which are showing to have benefits for some things these kids deal with.”
Bixler also said, “For schools, these situations don’t come with prescriptions from doctors. They are more like medical notes.”
School districts are now working on a compromise policy regarding medications so that medical marijuana falls into that category.
Bixler said, “We’re in the process of evaluating our policies regarding prescription and non-prescription medication. This is one that recently came up for review. We have a policy for both of those, but are combining them under one umbrella called ‘medications’, so this won’t change what we do in terms of service for students and families.”
In regards to students having medical marijuana cards, Bixler said, “These kids could have an identified need to access some of the cannabis plant during the school day. Because it’s not a prescription from a doctor, we can’t handle it through our prescription medication policy and it isn’t something we can sign off on because it’s not an over-the-counter medication. We’re really restricted on what we can do. We have to be very careful and be aware of what may be coming onto our campuses and how to handle it.”
Speaking to how parents are administering medical marijuana to their children during school hours, Bixler said, “What we’re finding is often the child is picked up for lunch or during break and leaves with the family off campus. They after they have what they need, they are brought back. The point is, because it’s still listed as a Schedule I, it is still a very big deal for us.”
Bixler says that no children, at least that the district is aware of, have medical marijuana cards. Other districts do, they are much larger, and are taking measures to put a proper policy in place.
Bixler said, “We’re not changing our policy per se, but are certainly ready to make an adjustment.”