By: Sally Seck
Colorado House Bill 1373 received unanimous approval from all 35 state Senators on Tuesday, May 3rd. This bill is of unique historical importance in the fight to recognize marijuana as medicine. It will require all public schools in the state to treat medical marijuana the same as any other medication, allowing students access to the medication they need during school hours.
Currently, students must choose between breaking school policy to take their medication on campus, leaving campus and missing class in order to take their medicine during the school day, and suffering negative health consequences from not accessing medication for the entire school day.
The text of the bill states that it “allows a student to use medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, or at a school activity and requires each school district to adopt a policy allowing the medical marijuana use.” The medicine must be administered by a primary caregiver in a nonsmokeable form (such as a tincture, patch, pill, or edible). The bill was first introduced March 16th of this year and is currently awaiting Governor Hickenlooper’s likely signature.
As of March 31st, 2016, there are 343 children under the age of 18 registered as medical marijuana patients in the state. The most common condition treated by medical marijuana use in children is seizures (as opposed to severe pain in adults). With the passage of this bill, these children will have their patient rights guaranteed in the public education system and no longer have to suffer from compromised access to their medication during school hours.