SACRAMENTO — A proposed bill would allow a parent to give their child medical cannabis while the child is at school.
A small picture in Sen. Jerry Hill’s office serves as a constant reminder of why he’s fighting.
“This legislation is inspired by a mother. A mother who wanted to make sure that her son was getting a proper education without being distracted,” Sen. Hill explained.
For years, state law forced Karina Garcia to take her son, Jojo, out of school and drive him 1,000 feet away just to give him a dose of cannabis oil. It was his medicine, prescribed by a doctor to prevent life-threatening seizures.
Hill is now sponsoring Senate Bill 223 in Jojo’s honor to make the process easier for parents.
“She could bring that medicinal marijuana onto campus, administer it in a tincture, an ointment, or a pill or a salve, something that’s not ingested in a sense and is not psychoactive. And then she takes it off campus,” Hill told FOX40.
The medicine would be administered by a parent or guardian and would have to be ordered by a doctor.
It would be up to each school district to decide whether they adopt the policy.
The Association of California School Administrators has concerns.
“The liability basically comes in the administration and whether that violates federal law,” said Naj Alikhan with ACSA. “State law and federal law is obviously very different.”
They want to make sure teachers and administrators are not held liable for allowing a drug to be administered that is still illegal on a federal level.
They also have concerns over losing federal funding.
“If a school district feels threatened by that, that federal funding may be in question, they can remove and eliminate the policy immediately,” Hill said.
It’s why the School Boards Association is backing the bill.
“Whatever we can do for students who have seizures, who the doctor and the parent believe this to be their best option in order to live and have that complete, full life,” said CSBA Lobbyist Erika Hoffman. “This is just potentially giving them the opportunity to do that.”
This is Senator Hill’s second time proposing the bill. Former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it last year saying it was too broad.
The Assembly approved this version Monday now it goes back to the Senate for a vote.