Following legalization in 2016, and as laws continue to take shape at the state level, the Kittery School Committee will review a new medical marijuana administration policy at its next meeting on Tuesday.
Though no Kittery students currently use medical marijuana for diagnoses or illnesses on schools grounds, Superintendent Eric Waddell said it’s necessary to have a policy in place for the future.
The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act governs the administration of medical marijuana in schools, regulated by the Department of Administration and Financial Services. The school policy being considered Tuesday night is a strict procedure to be followed if a student is to receive medical marijuana treatment at school.
According to the policy proposal, the student’s parent or legal guardian must obtain a copy of the Kittery School District’s “request to administer marijuana in school” form from the school nurse. The same parent or guardian must designate the caregiver, registered with the Maine Medical Marijuana Program, who will administer the marijuana to the student at school, including students who are over age 18.
“Arrangements will be made between the school administration and the designated caregiver to schedule the administration of medical marijuana in a manner that will minimize disruption to school operations and the student’s educational program, and that will not impact other students or employees,” the policy states. The marijuana must be brought to the school by the caregiver, “and may not be held, possessed or administered by anyone other than the caregiver,” aside from the student during the administration process in a private, designated area.
The marijuana must also be in nonsmokeable form. Vaporizers also are not permitted, according to the policy.
Waddell said the school district had a medical marijuana component to its medication administration policy prior. After some law revisions in 2018, the district had to review its policy to come into adherence, and did so with legal counsel’s advice.
“We always want to be prepared,” Waddell said. “One of the common uses among school-aged children is to treat chronic illness. One example may be a student who lives with a seizure disorder.”
The School Committee will conduct a first reading of the proposed policy at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall.