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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 proposes therapeutic marijuana policy

On March 30, the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education discussed a proposed policy that would allow parents, guardians or medical professionals to administer cannabinoid products to students on school property. The policy is titled ìCompassionate Administration of Therapeutic Cannabinoid Products on District Propertyî or simply ìJaxís Policy.îJennie Stormes, mother of Jackson Stormes, said the policy was inspired, in part, by an event in the spring of 2015, when she accidentally packed a dose of her sonís medical marijuana in his lunch. Jackson Stormes attends Sand Creek High School, and was suspended from school for the day, causing him to miss the therapy sessions he typically receives, she said.ìThe policy would allow me to better treat Jackson,î Jennie Stormes said. ìRight now, if I were to give just an afternoon dose and not one that was a medical emergency, I would have to go to the school, check him out, take him somewhere off school grounds, give him his dose, wait for it to take effect and then take him back to school.îStormes said Jackson has seizures at school, and it is even more difficult while he is seizing to take him off campus to administer his medication. ìIt is nice to think I can treat him and be more open about it,î she said. ìIt is going to be more preventative that way.îAccording to the proposed policy, the ìípermissible forms of cannabinoid productsí means non-inhalable (smoke or vapor) products such as oils, tinctures, edible products or lotions that can be administered and fully ingested or absorbed in a short period of time that are not otherwise intended for recreational use.îMatt Meister, D 49 director of communications, said the permissible forms are products derived from the cannabis plant but do not have the psychoactive properties of recreational marijuana products. Additionally, the products must be administered by an approved person such as a parent, guardian or medical professional — not by a school nurse, he said.ìThe products would have to be stored in a predefined place like the nurseís office, and we are talking about how the materials would need to be stored, like in locked cabinets,î Meister said.House Bill 16-1373, which underwent its third reading in the Colorado House of Representatives April 21, would require school districts to adopt a policy permitting the use of medical marijuana by students authorized to use medical marijuana.According to the bill, students will not be allowed to possess or self-administer medical marijuana, which Stormes said should alleviate any concerns that students are going to be wandering around school with cannabis in their pockets, if D 49ís policy is approved.Meister said the proposed policy also includes a cease and desist clause, which states: ìIf the Federal Government requests that the district cease and desist execution of activities under this policy at the hazard of losing federal funding, the district will comply with the federal guidance immediately.îUltimately, the proposed policy would maximize qualified studentsí time in the classroom and is in keeping with the districtís 49 Pathways philosophy that every student matters, he said.Stormes said that while she thinks the proposed policy is great, she is concerned that it prohibits the use of cannabis patches. ìI would like to think the district can compromise because girls are on the birth control patch and other special needs kids are on various other types of patches,î she said. ìThe only rule those students have to abide by is that the patch must be concealed, besides going to the nurseís office to get it.îAllowing qualified students to wear concealed cannabis patches could potentially prevent a parent from having to administer the cannabis during the school day, she said. The patch could potentially cover Jackson for the whole school day, Stormes said.If the policy is approved at the May 12 BOE meeting, D 49 would be the first school district in the state to have this type of policy in place, Meister said.ìCannabis has made Jacksonís quality of life so much better, and it has made him available to have an education,î Stormes said. ìThat is all we want, for our kids to be available to be educated.î

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