The state has warned Polk County Public Schools that it ought to draft a formal policy on healthcare marijuana use by certified students by Dec. 1 and approve it by Dec. 31 or face losing funding.

BARTOW — The Polk County Public Schools district is scrambling to implement a new policy on how to administer healthcare marijuana to students who have a prescription for the drug, which was legalized in Florida by constitutional amendment and legislative law, but remains illegal at the federal level.

“What you have is a federal law that says you shouldn’t be undertaking this, then you have a constitutional law in the state of Florida saying, ‘We’re going to legalize this, but not in schools,’ then you have a law saying, ‘We’re going to legalize this in school’,” College Board Lawyer Wes Bridges mentioned. “Those points do not play properly with each other. I know of no other medication like this.”

The state has warned the district that it ought to draft a formal policy by Dec. 1 and approve it by Dec. 31 or face losing funding. The college board had discussed the problem months ago, but was advised by North East Ohio Understanding Associates (NEOLA) — a enterprise that advises college boards nationwide on legislative policy — not to generate an official policy.

The district’s lobbyist, Wendy Dodge, presented the new policy to the college board at a perform session Tuesday. The new policy states:

• Only caregivers can administer healthcare marijuana/low THC/cannaboid solutions to certified students who supply a doctor’s certification for the patient and the caregiver.

• The medicine may perhaps only be administered in the kind of oils, tinctures, edible solutions or lotions.

• The item may perhaps not be in the kind of smokeable or inhalable solutions, patches or vapors.

• The medicine will only be distributed in a designated place identified at the sole discretion of the school’s principal. The place could differ by college.

• No college employee will administer the medication and it shall not be stored on any campus or in any district car.

College Board member Lisa Miller mentioned she has currently received complaints from some of the handful of parents of students who will need this for points like seizure, impulse and anxiousness manage. The parents say the policy is onerous for these caregivers who perform and cannot get to their child’s college in the course of the day.

“Right now, if you are a operating family members member and you cannot get off perform, you are risking a healthcare situation,” Miller mentioned, adding that Polk is not the only district in this position and the state need to have taken care of this at their level. “I do not want households to really feel like they’re obtaining to do some thing against the law or differently.”

College Board member Billy Townsend asked what would occur if the legal conflict didn’t exist. Bridges mentioned there are various other laws that nonetheless pertain to marijuana.

“Number one particular, we’ve got the Drug-Cost-free College law in location,” Bridges mentioned. “Number two, we’ve got nurses that have their licenses in jeopardy.”

Townsend mentioned he’s concerned that this policy could possibly stigmatize parents and students since marijuana has extended been referred to as a gateway drug that leads to far more significant drug use.

“There need to not be a stigma about it,” Bridges mentioned.

College Board member Sara Beth Reynolds asked what will occur when the child’s caregiver is in fact a college employee because the policy forbids college district workers from administering healthcare marijuana.

Dodge mentioned the employee’s appropriate as a caregiver supersedes their employment.

“They have a card identifying them as the caregiver,” Dodge mentioned.

The problem was discussed for initial reading Tuesday and will be voted on at the subsequent college board meeting on Dec. 10.

Kimberly C. Moore can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7514. Stick to her on Twitter at @KMooreTheLedger.