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As more and more states have legalized medical marijuana, many students have nevertheless been left out in the cold.
Thirty-three states have passed measures allowing various degrees of medical use to people who benefit from cannabis, and 17 of these states permit prescriptions to minors. But they’ve been slow to extend its use to schools.
There’s a simple reason why schools have not allowed students or faculty with prescriptions to use marijuana on the premises: In the eyes of the federal government, pot is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and under the terms of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, any employer who falls short could lose federal money.
For most schools, that could amount to losing about 9 percent of their operating budget.
In a few states, however, pressure from parents is bringing about change. Recent legislative enactments by New Mexico and Washington bring to eight the number of states that allow qualified students and teachers to take cannabis medicine without running afoul of federal workplace rules.
If you are a parent of a child who benefits from a validly prescribed cannabis-derived medical treatment and live in a state where it is allowed, the recent evidence should be instructive. School districts and states are becoming increasingly responsive to the idea that students who rely on these medicines shouldn’t be deprived of them.