Florida school districts still unsure of how to handle medical marijuana

Published: Aug. 8, 2017 at 9:11 PM EDT
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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service

August 8, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Ten months ago, 71 percent of Florida's voters said "yes" on Amendment 2. Rick Scott signed the legislation on June 23. Still, Florida's 67 school districts haven't decided how to store or administer the drug to prescribed children.

"There's 67 districts in the state, and we're all facing this right now," said Alan Cox, the assistant superintendent of Leon County Schools.

Andrea Messina, President of the Florida School Boards Association, says districts are working on plans, but a lack of guidance from the Department of Education is complicating things.

"They're kind of doing it on a one-off now, to try to accommodate the needs of individual students, because they don't right now have large numbers," Messina said. "And they're trying to find a way to make it work for the family, and for the school, and for the school community."

The Leon County School District says, for the time being, they wont allow school nurses to administer the medication or hold medical marijuana in schools until the district gets more guidance from the state and DOE.

But, that doesn’t mean prescribed students are out of luck.

"We will ask the parent to give it before school, after school, or feel free to come to the school to administer it,” Cox said.

The challenge isn't only figuring out how to deal with students with prescriptions, but also teachers.

Messina says marijuana will likely have similar rules as other prescription drugs with potential to cause inebriated states, like opioids.

Education officials estimate it will still be months before any policies are finalized.

As of last Friday the Department of Health reported 26,968 patients prescribed medical marijuana in the state.