OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed a new law into effect which allows parents in Washington the ability to medicate their children with marijuana on school grounds.
The newly passed House Bill 1095 only recognizes the application of certain products containing cannabinoids, such as oils and creams, which have a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or less and specifies a small number of medical conditions which a student must have in order to receive such treatment.
“This is really talking about oils that are very low dose with THC,” explained Julie Robinson, RN, MN and school nurse for the Wenatchee School District (WSD). “But they’ve got this cannabinoid that seems to be effective in a small number of students who would have intractable seizures. TBD oils may also be used for students who have severe spasticity.”
Another specific stipulation of the law is that any medicinal cannabinoid products must be given by the parents of a student, which isn’t a major departure from the WSD’s current protocols regarding the storage and administration of prescription and over-the-counter medication.
“School district policy for medications says any medications that are given by prescription we have to have a doctor, nurse practitioner, or PA (physician’s assistant) order for,” detailed Robinson. “And then I keep them in my office locked up with the exception of emergency meds which are not locked up.”
“Students in middle school and high school may self-carry one dose of over-the-counter medication, like Tylenol, Midol, ibuprofen, (and) Benadryl.”
Even though the new law sounds enormously unprecedented, school officials say they don’t feel it will prove difficult to mitigate nor are they expecting it to cause many issues for the faculties and administrations of the state’s public school system.
“Families sometimes don’t understand,” said Robinson. “It’s like, wow, we can bring our kids’ pot to school! That isn’t what it says. It’s still really new and we’ll see how it shakes out but it probably won’t be a big impact, I don’t think, in our school district.”
The new law, which will go into effect on July 30, is now being reviewed by the Washington State School Directors Association (WASDA), who is working to draft a complete set of policies and procedures for every school district in the state to follow - a common practice regarding most new statutes involving Washington’s public education system.