Marijuana Use in K-12 Schools Presents Challenges

Florida’s medical marijuana law includes an exception to the ban of cannabis on school grounds. State Statute 1006.062 requires each district to adopt a policy and a procedure that allows a student who is a qualified patient with a medical marijuana card to use the product on campus.

kidsmsFor a student being treated with medical cannabis, only a caregiver can administer the drug, and that individual (usually a parent or guardian) must be registered with the Florida Department of Health. The medication also must be taken in a designated location and at a certain time. Smokeable products are not allowed.

However, not all school districts have implemented policies state law requires, some citing concerns that doing so would risk federal funding.

Sgt. Kyle Johnson, a K-9 officer with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, works as a resource officer in a school district that has not created a policy to accommodate students who are medical marijuana patients. At Taylor County High School, where he is stationed, he says there have been a couple of incidents of kids bringing medical marijuana on campus, but they took it from a family member and were not using it for its intended medicinal purpose.

Sgt. Johnson says he randomly brings a drug-sniffing dog on campus and walks it through classrooms and parking lots, a practice that has “greatly deterred the use of marijuana on campus.”

Tamara Pryor, who has been working for the last 17 years as a school nurse in Illinois says she’s concerned about the popularity of CBD and Delta-8-infused products that look like candy, which students bring to campus disguised as snack foods.

“Gummies, they're a hot thing because they look like normal candy,” says Ms. Pryor, who has had experience with students who consumed too many edibles.

“If they overdose on edibles [containing THC], that could take six to eight hours and even longer, some even 24 hours or more, for that to leave their system. So, they're feeling pretty horrible for a long time,” she says.

Visit to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring school resource officer Kyle Johnson and school nurse Tamara Pryor talking about lawful and unlawful cannabis use among students in K-12 schools