NOTE: State law requires school districts to allow "primary caregivers" to administer medical marijuana to qualified students on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d)(I). Federal law continues to regard any form of marijuana as an illegal controlled substance. While Colorado school boards are not legally required to adopt a policy on this subject, state law permits local boards of education to adopt a policy regarding "who may act as a primary caregiver" and establishing "reasonable parameters" on the administration and use of medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus and at a school-sponsored event. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d)(III). This sample policy contains the policy content/language that CASB believes best meets the intent of the law. CASB strongly recommends that the district consult with its own legal counsel prior to the local board's adoption of a policy on this issue.
NOTE: State law permits schools to adopt policies authorizing designated school personnel to administer medical marijuana to qualified students. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d.5)(IV). Given that federal law regards marijuana as illegal, this sample policy prohibits school personnel from administering medical marijuana to qualified students, unless the staff member is the student's parent/guardian. CASB highly recommends that the Board adopt a policy on this subject so that the Board's policies will be consistent and clear regarding when and how the administration of medical marijuana to qualified students is permitted.
The Board strives to honor families' private medical decisions while ensuring a learning environment free of disruption. To accomplish these goals, the district restricts the administration of medications, including medical marijuana, during school hours unless administration cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours.
Administration of medical marijuana to qualified students shall be in accordance with this policy. Administration of all other prescription and nonprescription medications to students shall be in accordance with applicable law and the Board's policy concerning the administration of medications to students.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:
1. "Designated location" means a location identified in writing by the school district in its sole discretion and may include a location on the grounds of the school in which the student is enrolled, upon a school bus in Colorado, or at a school-sponsored event in Colorado.
2. "Permissible form of medical marijuana" means nonsmokeable products such as oils, tinctures, edible products or lotions that can be administered and fully ingested or absorbed in a short period of time. Patches and other forms of administration that continue to deliver medical marijuana to a qualified student while at school may be appropriate for students who receive ongoing adult assistance or on a case-by-case basis as determined by the district when adequate protections against misuse may be made. Forms of medical marijuana not included in this definition may be proposed by the qualified student's primary caregiver to the superintendent, who may authorize such a request after consultation with appropriate medical personnel chosen by the district.
3. "Primary caregiver" means the qualified student's parent, guardian or other responsible adult over eighteen years of age who is identified by the student's parent/guardian as the qualified student's primary caregiver. In no event shall another student or a staff member be recognized as a primary caregiver, unless the staff member is the student's parent/guardian. Any primary caregiver seeking access to school or district property, a school bus or school-sponsored event for purposes of this policy must comply with the Board's policy and/or procedures concerning visitors to schools and all other applicable policies.
4. "Qualified student" means a student who holds a valid registration from the state of Colorado (license issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) for the use of medical marijuana and for whom the administration of medical marijuana cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours.
Permissible administration of medical marijuana to a qualified student
A qualified student's primary caregiver may administer a permissible form of medical marijuana to a qualified student in a designated location if all of the following parameters are met:
1. The qualified student's parent/guardian provides the school with a copy of the student's valid registration from the state of Colorado authorizing the student to receive medical marijuana;
2. The qualified student's parent/guardian signs a written acknowledgement assuming all responsibility for the provision, administration, maintenance and use of medical marijuana under state law, and releases the district from liability for any injury that occurs pursuant to this policy;
3. The qualified student's parent/guardian or primary caregiver shall be responsible for providing the permissible form of medical marijuana to be administered to the qualified student;
4. The district determines, in its sole discretion, that a location and a method of administration of a permissible form of medical marijuana are available that do not create risk of disruption to the educational environment or exposure to other students;
5. After administering the permissible form of medical marijuana to the qualified student, the student's primary caregiver shall remove any remaining medical marijuana from the grounds of the school, district, school bus or school- sponsored event; and
6. The district prepares, with the input of the qualified student's parent/guardian, a written plan that identifies the form, designated location(s), and any protocol regarding administration of a permissible form of medical marijuana to the qualified student. The written plan shall be signed by the school administrator, the qualified student (if capable) and the qualified student's parent/guardian.
School personnel shall not administer or hold medical marijuana in any form.
This policy conveys no right to any student or to the student's parents/guardians or other primary caregiver to demand access to any general or particular location on school or district property, a school bus or at a school-sponsored event to administer medical marijuana.
This policy shall not apply to school grounds, school buses or school-sponsored events located on federal property or any other location that prohibits marijuana on its property.
Permission to administer medical marijuana to a qualified student may be limited or revoked if the qualified student and/or the student's primary caregiver violates this policy or demonstrates an inability to responsibly follow this policy's parameters.
Student possession, use, distribution, sale or being under the influence of marijuana inconsistent with this policy may be considered a violation of Board policy concerning drug and alcohol involvement by students or other Board policy and may subject the student to disciplinary consequences, including suspension and/or expulsion, in accordance with applicable Board policy.
If the federal government indicates that the district's federal funds are jeopardized by this policy, the Board declares that this policy shall be suspended immediately and that the administration of any form of medical marijuana to qualified students on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event shall not be permitted. The district shall post notice of such policy suspension and prohibition in a conspicuous place on its website.
LEGAL REFS.: Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, Section 14 (establishing qualifications for use of medical marijuana)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (3)(c), (d) (no student possession or self-administration of medical marijuana, but school districts must permit the student's primary caregiver to administer medical marijuana to the student on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (3)(d)(III) (board may adopt policies regarding who may act as a primary caregiver and to establish reasonable parameters on the administration and use of medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event)
CROSS REFS.: JICH, Drug and Alcohol Involvement by Students
JKD/JKE, Suspension/Expulsion of Students (and Other Disciplinary Interventions)
JLCD, Administering Medications to Students
JLCE, First Aid and Emergency Medical Care
NOTE: If the policy's provision for automatic suspension is triggered, the school district must post a statement on its website "in a conspicuous place" regarding its decision not to continue to implement this state law. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d)(IV).
[Revised September 2018]
COLORADO SAMPLE POLICY 2016©