In a national first, medical marijuana may soon be allowed in Colorado schools. Though the drug is legal throughout the state, until now, schools have been considered completely drug-free zones.
State legislators rushed a bill called "Jack's Amendment" through the House and Senate before heading to the governor's desk Monday, Fox News reported. The bill is named for 14-year-old Jack Splitt, whose caregiver was previously banned from adhering to the middle schooler's physician-prescribed medical marijuana patch. Splitt's patch was reportedly necessary to aid with the his severe cerebral palsy.
The bill specifically allows the marijuana patch to be administered by parents and caregivers to students with a doctor's note deeming it necessary for a medical condition. Among the conditions typically treated with the patch are epilepsy, cerebral palsy and seizures. Reportedly more than 500 Colorado students suffer from seizures.
Supporters of the legislation assert this circumstance is no different than other physician-approved medications administered at schools.
"We allow children to take all sorts of psychotropic medications, whether it's Ritalin or opiate painkillers, under supervised circumstances. We should do the same here," the bill's sponsor Rep. Jonathan Singer (D) told the news source.
The bill is expected to be approved by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) who has 30 days to determine whether he will in fact sign "Jack's Amendment" into law.
Opponents of the bill argue that marijuana is already present in schools and legalizing the use of the patches there could just add to the problem. Though it remains unclear how this bill would impact the penalty for selling illegal marijuana in a no-drug school zone currently there is a minimum eight-year mandatory sentence for violators who sell the drug for recreational use.