School board approves medical cannabis policy

BROOKINGS – After the passing of Initiated Measure 26, a bill to legalize medical marijuana in South Dakota, school districts have been readying policy for medical pot’s anticipated start date.

On Monday night, the Brookings School Board unanimously approved policy JHCDE, “Administration of Medical Cannabis to Qualifying Learners.” The approval comes days before the slated Nov. 1 start date for medical cannabis in South Dakota.

To be eligible for medical marijuana, a qualified student must first be prescribed the “treatment” from an authorized doctor. If eligible, the student will receive a medical marijuana card, functioning as sort of a passport, that will allow the student or the student’s parent/guardian to purchase medical marijuana.

In the district’s “Medical Cannabis Administration Plan,” any student who plans to use medical marijuana at school or at a school-sponsored activity must fill out a form notifying the district of all the details surrounding the student’s treatment, including dosage, doctor, frequency of dosage, etc. The form notifies the parent that they are required to transport and store the medical marijuana and the school will determine a location for administering the treatment.

Policy JHCDE states, “The school district restricts the administration of medical cannabis during school hours and at school-sponsored activities unless, in accordance with a practitioner’s recommendation, administration of medical cannabis cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours or school-sponsored activities.”

The policy states that only a caregiver/parent/guardian may “provide, administer, or assist the learner with the consumption of medical cannabis.” The schools in the district will not store medical cannabis, nor will school personnel administer medical cannabis.

Eligible students will not be able to smoke or vape medical cannabis. The only “permissible forms” will be products such as oils, tinctures, edible products, or lotions that “can be administered and fully ingested or absorbed in a short period of time.”

“No learner is permitted to possess or self-administer medical cannabis,” the policy states.

“If the federal government indicates that the district’s federal funds will be lost or have been lost by this policy, the board declares that this policy shall be suspended immediately and that the administration of any form of medical cannabis to qualifying learner on school property 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,” the policy adds.

Members of the school board did not discuss the policy at Monday’s meeting.

Policy GBEC, “Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs by Employees Drug Free Workplace,” also had a second reading and subsequent approval at Monday night’s meeting. Revisions to the existing policy, which detailed the district’s stance on staff use of medical cannabis, were approved unanimously. The revised update to the policy states “it shall be a violation of this policy for any employee to manufacture, use, possess, sell, distribute, or be under the influence of medical cannabis in any manner inconsistent with South Dakota state law” on school property or at a school event off school property.

The policy states, “Any staff member who is taking a drug or medication, whether or not prescribed by the staff member’s physician, which may adversely affect that staff member’s ability to perform work in a safe or productive manner is required to report such use of medication to his or her supervisor. This includes drugs that are known or advertised as possibly affecting judgement, coordination or any of the senses, including those that may cause drowsiness or dizziness.”

Members of the school board did not discuss this policy revision at Monday’s meeting.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday Oct. 25, in the Dakota Prairie Community Room.

Contact Addison DeHaven at [email protected]


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