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10Investigates report sparks statewide action on medical marijuana in schools

Most local districts don't have policies regarding medical marijuana on campus.

A 10Investigates report sparked statewide action on Thursday.

On Monday, we reported how nine out of 10 school districts in the Tampa Bay area were not following a state law meant to protect sick kids.

The law requires all districts to adopt a policy and procedure allowing students with medical marijuana prescriptions to take their medicine during the school day.

On Thursday, the state Department of Education told 10Investigates it sent a letter to every school district superintendent in the state because of our investigation.

The letter said all districts have to adopt compliant medical marijuana policies by the end of the year or face the consequences.

“We could withhold salaries of the superintendent. We can withhold funding to the district. We can withhold and make them ineligible for grants. They risk literally – when the law says, as a school board member or a superintendent, do X, and they’re not doing it, they can risk suspension and removal from office,” Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran told 10Investigates.

10Investigates: 9 out of 10 Tampa Bay school districts are breaking law meant to help sick kids

State Chancellor of Public Schools Jacob Oliva’s letter said districts that already have compliant policies must submit a copy to the Florida Department of Education by Oct. 18.

Districts that have not adopted compliant medical marijuana policies must send a draft to the Department by Dec. 1 and notify the Department that they’ve adopted the policy by Dec. 31.

“The purpose of this memorandum is to remind school districts of this requirement, which has now been codified in law for more than 27 months. Although the area of law is relatively new, ample time has passed for districts to adopt compliant access policies,” said Oliva in the letter.

The Hernando County Public School District is the only one in our area that already has a policy.

Now, the other nine districts in Tampa Bay, and every district in the state, will have to join it.

Credit: WTSP

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