Patient advocates want lawmakers to amend medical cannabis bill for students | KOB 4
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Patient advocates want lawmakers to amend medical cannabis bill for students

Patrick Hayes
Created: February 05, 2020 07:02 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In the midst of all the talk at the state Roundhouse about legalizing recreational marijuana, some advocates are hoping lawmakers will revisit another cannabis-related bill that was passed last year.

Senate bill 204 requires school districts to give students who are medical cannabis patients access to their medical marijuana.

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"Well unfortunately in 2019 it's been a rough year for the medical cannabis program in general," said Jason Barker, a patient advocate with Safe Access New Mexico.

Barker said the law makes it hard on working parents because they have to administer medical marijuana to their children in-person.

"What they've done is they've made it so the parents are responsible for having to come to the school in case there's an emergency to dose the medical cannabis when the medical cannabis in schools law is clearly written for school personnel to be able to do that just as they do with any other medication," Barker said.

School districts like APS said their rules are only affecting a couple of students, but the Department of Health said there are more than 200 students in the state that need access to their medical cannabis.

Most students use cannabis to treat conditions like PTSD, epilepsy and severe chronic pain.

School district officials have expressed concerns about storing cannabis on campus and school nurses said they're worried they could lose their license because of federal laws.

New Mexico lawmakers have discussed amending the 2019 law, but nothing has been filed.

The Public Education Department sent the following statement about the policy:

"PED's role is to ensure that our school districts have complied with the rule to create a medial cannabis policy in line with the statute; we do not influence or comment on school policies beyond that."

Wednesday was the last day to file new legislation for the 30-day session. 

There has been no word on whether any medical cannabis bills have been filed.


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