EDITORIAL: Students should have access to medicine

A new bill is being proposed that would allow marijuana on schools grounds for students who require the drug to aid with medical conditions.

House Bill 1060, proposed by Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, aims to permit students to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school property, aboard buses and while attending school-sponsored events.

According to the Legislator’s Guide to Washington’s Marijuana Laws, a qualifying medical condition is “severe enough to significantly interfere with the patient’s activities of daily living and ability to function.”

Medical marijuana in has been legal in the state since the passing of ballot Initiative 692 in 1998. Since the law was approved, the state has approved medical marijuana for many medical conditions including cachexia, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, chronic renal failure, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and more.

“Even though pain management is one of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana in the U.S., there is limited evidence that marijuana works to treat most types of chronic pain,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A few studies have found that marijuana can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves). However, more research is needed to know if marijuana is any better or any worse than other options for managing chronic pain.”

It’s important to to note that the law would not allow a student walk around smoking a joint, but rather be medicated under guardian supervision.

And, depending on the medicial condition, there are other ways to medicate besides the stereotypical “Cheech and Chong roll it tight and light it up” theory. Depending on the qualifying illness, medication can be delivered via a topical application, a CBD-only oil or ingested as an edible.

The bill in would leave the decision whether to allow marijuana on campus for medical purposes up to local schools.

Under the proposed bill, the parent or guardian of a minor must be the designated provider and has control over their medical marijuana. As a result, the guardians would have to go to school in order to provide the substance to the child.

To qualify, both the minor and the designated provider must be entered in the medical marijuana authorization database and hold a recognition card for identification.

If marijuana can help a student to feel better and aleviate illness, we support the idea.

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