Maryland Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Cannabis Use on School Grounds

The Maryland House of Representatives and Senate have both approved House Bill 617 which would allow qualified medical marijuana patients access to certain medical cannabis products while on school grounds. The measure now goes to the governor, who has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it (which would stop it from becoming law unless 2/3rds of the legislature overrides the veto).

According to NORML, the measure “requires the Department of Education and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission jointly to develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to certain students during school hours and school-sponsored after-school activities.”

House Bill 617 permits either designated caregivers or designated school personnel to administer medical cannabis to students while they are either on school property, participating in school-sponsored activities, or on a school bus. More explicit guidelines regulating medical cannabis administration must be finalized by December 31, 2020.

As noted by NORML, lawmakers in multiple states, including California, Delaware, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington, already regulate the administration and use of certain cannabis products to qualified student patients while on school campuses.

Authorizing a parent or legal guardian of a medical cannabis patient under the age of 18 years to designate not more than two additional adults to be a caregiver, in addition to the parent or legal guardian; specifying that the definition of “caregiver” does not include designated school personnel; authorizing a qualified patient under the age of 18 years to obtain medical cannabis from certain designated school personnel; exempting certain caregivers and school personnel from certain penalties related to the administration of cannabis; etc.
The measure is sponsored by representatives Johnson, Kipke, Lisanti, Lehman, Anderton, Arikan, Bagnall, Bhandari, Chisholm, Ciliberti, Clark, Corderman, Hettleman, Hornberger, Kerr, R. Lewis, Love, Malone, McKay, Metzgar, Moon, Saab, Szeliga, Pendergrass, Pena-Melnyk, Barron, Carr, Charles, Cullison, Hill, Krebs, Morgan, Reilly, Rosenberg, Sample-Hughes, and K. Young.

Maryland approved its first medical marijuana law in 2013. But the effort stalled because it required academic medical centers to run the programs, and none stepped forward. The law was changed in 2014 to allow doctors certified by a state medical cannabis commission to recommend marijuana for patients with debilitating, chronic and severe illnesses.

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