Article by Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Courier
As Canada is poised to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, readers might wonder how schools will handle the change. Will kids be legally toking up on school grounds? Will skunky smells be wafting down the halls?
First off, it’s important to note that when the recreational use of marijuana is legalized, probably later this year, it will still be illegal for minors to use or possess pot. In that regard, things won’t change in schools.
Secondly, even with a medical marijuana prescription, kids won’t be allowed to smoke on school grounds. Smoking is prohibited on school grounds and it will continue to be prohibited, the Vancouver School Board’s associate superintended Jody Langlois said in a statement.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since the beginning of this century.
“If medical marijuana was prescribed in a way that necessitated it being administered during the school day, as with all prescribed medications, VSB’s Student Support Services would develop, with families and medical professionals, Individualized Education Plans to determine the best course of action to meet the student’s needs,” Langlois said.
When medically needed during school, support staff or administrators sometimes do give students prescription medications, the VSB’s policy on administering medicines says. Usually, those staff will have been given specific training about the medications and how to administer them. So, it is theoretically possible that school staff could be responsible for administering medical marijuana, if it is prescribed and required during school hours.
Earlier this month, the provincial government announced some rules about how it will handle the upcoming legalization of recreational pot use. In general, recreational pot-smoking will be allowed in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted, with the exception of areas frequented by children like beaches, parks and playgrounds, where it won’t be allowed. Pot smoking will not be allowed in cars, for passengers or drivers.