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California schools may allow medical cannabis on campuses

Students at C.K. McClatchy High School leave classes on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Some students at the school say they are afraid they may be behind next year because they are being taught by substitute teachers.
Students at C.K. McClatchy High School leave classes on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Some students at the school say they are afraid they may be behind next year because they are being taught by substitute teachers. rbyer@sacbee.com

California schools will get to decide if parents can administer medical marijuana to their children on school campuses.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he signed the legislation that reverses a current prohibition on cannabis within 1,000 feet of K-12 campuses. School districts will have the final say on whether they will allow it.

The law will take effect Jan. 1.

Newsom’s predecessor, fellow Democrat Jerry Brown, vetoed a similar law last year.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, the bill’s author, named it “Jojo’s Act” for a teenager in South San Francisco who uses medical cannabis to treat severe epilepsy. California has legalized medical marijuana since the 1990s, but there are strict rules about its use on campus.

Washington, Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois and New Mexico already have similar laws in place, Hill’s office said.

“Jojo’s Act would lift barriers for students with severe medical disabilities - for whom medicinal cannabis is the only medication that works - so they can take their dose at school and then get on with their studies, without being removed from campus and without disrupting their educational experience or that of their classmates,” Hill said in a statement when the bill passed the state Legislature.

Students must have a valid medical recommendation, and parents would have to bring the cannabis to the school rather than store it there. The cannabis would have to be in a non-smoking form, such as a capsule.

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