On the heels of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s signing of a bill allowing smokeless medical marijuana to be administered in schools, a facility in the southern portion of the state has reportedly devised a policy on the matter that will make them the first school in the United States to allow cannabis medicine on school property.
Following a failed lawsuit in which the family of 16-year-old Genny Barbour fought the Maple Shade School District for their epileptic daughter’s right to consume cannabis oil during her lunch period, the Lark School Board, which previously insisted that any form of cannabis on school property would be a violation of the drug-free school zone laws, has announced a new policy that will allow Barbour and students with similar conditions to consume medical marijuana during school hours.
“I’m thrilled that we have been able to reach this point,” Susan Weiner, executive director of Larc School, said in a statement. “We’re about helping children. I know there are so many kids in this state and across the country who can benefit from this. We’re grateful that our legislators recognized it’s a sincere need that helps students, because we do see the difference.”
The bill, which was approved by the State Legislature over the summer and then signed into law on Monday by Governor Christie, provides a legal shield for schools and other operations serving disabled patients that want to administer medical marijuana.
According to the language of the law, students participating in the state’s medicinal cannabis program can be administered edible forms of the herb “on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event.” Each educational facility, however, must “indentify locations on school grounds where medical marijuana may be administered.”
Although Colorado passed a similar law earlier this year, none of the schools have yet drafted policies to benefit students with serious health conditions.
New Jersey’s latest medical marijuana law will enable Genny Barbour to consume a single dose of cannabis oil at The Larc School beginning on Monday. But, unfortunately, the law dictates that only a member of the family or a registered caregiver can administer the medication under the supervision of a school staff member. This has forced Genny’s parents, Roger and Lora Barbour, to continue in their legal battle. Their goal, at this point, is to change the law, giving the school nurse the authority to administer cannabis oil in the same manner in which they would for any other medication.