Georgia’s public schools cannot store medical cannabis products due to state and federal law, forcing patients to leave school grounds to take their medicine, according to NPR-affiliate WABE. School officials say that the state’s medical cannabis law, which only allows the use of low-THC oils, permits only the registered patient to store the oil, and some fear that their federal funding could be jeopardized by storing medical cannabis products.
“By law, the only person whose name is on the registration card issued by the Department of Public Health for cannabis oil may store the oil,” said Beth McLaughlin, spokeswoman for Houston County school district, in the report. “In addition, per the Safe and Drug Free Schools federal law, the oil may not be brought onto school grounds.”
Curtis Harris, the father of a registered patient who suffers from seizures, said that Houston County school officials “went into a panic” when they were told that Harris’ son CJ used cannabis oil for his seizures.
“They called the head state nurse, and the head state nurse told him that he can’t even have it on campus,” Harris said.
A spokeswoman for Bibb County’s school system indicated that they would have to revise their policies if confronted with a student who uses cannabis oil but they have yet to deal with the issue.
Justin Pauly, the director of communications for the Georgia School Boards Association, said they “haven’t seen it as of yet” but when it pops up it will put “the school systems in a very difficult position” because of a disparity between state and federal laws.
State Rep. Allen Peake, who supplies CJ’s family with the oils, said he is “looking for education administration officials to show some courage and do what’s in the best interest of the students.”
“Stories like this are happening and will be happening all over our state as the medical cannabis law continues to expand,” he said.