Originally published at MintPress News.
DENVER — As more families press for their children to be allowed to consume medical cannabis at school, more states are moving toward allowing students access to the substance that remains banned at the federal level.
Last week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed “Jack’s Law,” which will allow students with a prescription to receive non-inhaled medical marijuana during the school day. The law is named for a young student who couldn’t access his prescribed medical cannabis at school. CBS Denver reported on June 7:
Jack Splitt loves school so when his school confiscated the only medicine that treats his debilitating muscle spasms by stating “cannabis is a controlled substance,” Jack and his mom Stacey Linn took their fight to the state Capitol.
“We absolutely need to allow children to have access to medicine in schools. Why wouldn’t we?” said Kyle Sherman, the founder and CEO of Flowhub, in an interview with MintPress News. Flowhub is a Denver-based software company that helps growers and dispensaries maintain their supply chains and follow local laws.
“We allow children to have access to their other pharmaceutical medications in schools. Why can’t we let them have access to a very harmless substance that can help them live a normal life?” Sherman continued.
Cannabis has been shown to offer relief for a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain to the side effects ofcancer treatment, but much of the force behind laws allowing children to access the plant in school comes from its ability to relieve symptoms of conditions like epilepsy.
Last year, the Colorado Legislature passed a law which allows caregivers to administer medical cannabis to students. “But schools found a loophole in the process,” reported CBS Denver, and Splitt’s medicine was confiscated by officials, leading to the need for the follow-up law.
Hickenlooper voiced his strong support for Jack’s Law, in a statement quoted by The Durango Herald in May:
Those kids have every right and expect that they should be able to have access to those medicines, and they haven’t. My hope is that this bill … motivates those schools to make sure these kids can get the medication they apparently need.
In November, New Jersey passed a similar law allowing students with a prescription to access medical cannabis in schools. And on Friday, the Delaware Senate approved “Rylie’s Law,” which would also expand medical marijuana access to schools. Several other states, including Texas, are also beginning to allow limited access CBD oil, a cannabis derivative than can also help with some epileptic seizures and muscle spasms.
Despite changes at the state level, the federal government still considers cannabis a Schedule I drug. It’s classified with drugs like heroin and other highly addictive substances which are not considered to have any medical benefit.
Sherman called the current patchwork of varying state laws “frustrating,” but said he believes the situation will improve over time. “There is a lot of red tape and a lot of different red tape from state to state, and I think it’s just going to take some time to start to see some normalization across these states.”
Colorado is becoming a model for other states, both in terms of medical marijuana and overall legalization of the substance, he said, adding: “We’re really starting to see proof that Colorado is the state to be focused on and the state to watch for the future of where the industry is going.”
Sherman argued that cannabis should be available to any human who needs it, concluding:
It is criminal that this medicine isn’t available to every single citizen in the United States of America today. It’s absolutely criminal. We are not going to stop doing what we’re doing until we legalize this plant internationally.