A new piece of legislation making its way through the California state legislature would allow parents to come onto public school campuses to act as medical marijuana caregivers during school hours.

According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, Senate Bill 223 passed in the state Assembly this week, and will now head to the State Senate for a final vote before potentially moving on to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom. Just last year, a near identical bill was vetoed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown. 

If passed, SB223 would allow doctor-recommended, non-smoking forms of medical cannabis to be administered to children in grades K-12, as long as a parent or guardian is on hand to actually dole out the oil, capsule, or topical. For now, parents must remove students from campus and bring them at least 1,000 feet away from school grounds if their child needs a dose of THC or CBD-rich medication.

“Existing law allows schools to legally administer any pharmaceutical drug, including opioids, that a child has been prescribed,” State Senator Jerry Hill, who introduced the bill, said in a statement. “But there are medical conditions pharmaceuticals can’t fix, and they often have debilitating side effects. In some of these cases, medical cannabis is highly effective.”

Legislators and medical marijuana advocates are particularly interested in the benefits the bill could have on the lives of epileptic children who use cannabis oils to curb their seizures. 

“Currently, these students must be picked up by their parents, signed out, and taken off campus in order to take their medicine,” Hill said. “This is disruptive to their learning. Every child is entitled to an uninterrupted education.”

But while California moves to a more compassionate cannabis standard in public education, the same cannot be said across the country. In Texas, multiple school districts have implemented zero tolerance marijuana rules, including automatic expulsion for any student caught with a THC vape pen and mandatory drug tests to qualify for after school activities. 

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