Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has served since 2011, and has signed his name on a number of cannabis-related bills. On Monday, June 6th, 2016, he signed “Jack’s Law,” providing sick children with debilitating conditions the right to use medical cannabis at school as long as it is administer by their primary caregiver.
Last year, a law was passed that permitted school districts to implement policies allowing caregiver-administered cannabis use, but enacting these policies was optional. Representative Jonathan Singer, who carried last year’s bill, introduced “Jack’s Law” (House Bill 16-1373) this session to make clear that students at all schools should be able to take cannabis for medical purposes.
In the photo above, Gov. Hickenlooper signs HB 16-1373 with Jack Splitt and his mother Stacey Linn, who moved from New Jersey due to suppressive medical cannabis laws.
The new law eliminates confusing language that gave schools the option to “adopt a policy.” Now schools must provide accommodations for their students who need medical cannabis in order to participate in the educational process.
“A primary caregiver may possess, and administer to a student who holds a valid recommendation for medical marijuana, medical marijuana in a non smokeable form upon the grounds of the preschool or primary or secondary school in which the student is enrolled, or upon a school bus or at a school sponsored event. The primary caregiver shall not administer the non smokeable medical marijuana in a manner that creates disruption to the educational environment or causes exposure to other students.”
–22-1-119.3 Policy for student possession and administration of prescription medication – rules. (3)(d)(I)(A)
The only exception is if the school district or charter school can show evidence of having lost federal funding as a result of implementing HB 16-1373, and in addition to the loss of federal funding, have made it conspicuously evident on the school district’s website that the district or charter school does not intend to comply with “Jack’s Law” for federal funding reasons.
The story of Jack Splitt and “Jack’s Law” is another incredibly positive example of sick children and their families raising the bar for medical cannabis accessibility. Despite the federal funding exceptions, Colorado has once again approved legislation that hopefully serves as a model across the rest of America.