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Artesia Public Schools approve medical cannabis policy advisory

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Community Living Editor The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education approved the edited version of Policy Advisory 184 regarding medical cannabis per House Bills 204 and 206 during Monday’s meeting.

The addition to the policy reads:

Medical Cannabis:

Possession, Storage and Administration:

• The District shall allow the administration of medical cannabis in a school setting solely in accordance with the qualifi ed student’s required written treatment plan, written certifi cation and pursuant to this policy and applicable law. The written treatment plan must include a statement by the medical professional that it is medically necessary for the cannabis to be administered during school hours.

• Only primary caregivers are authorized to, and are solely responsible for, possessing, storing, and administering medical cannabis for a qualifi ed student pursuant to this policy. Possession, storage, and administration include any and all functions related to the same.

• School personnel are not authorized to possess, store, or administer medical cannabis.

• Students are prohibited from possessing, storing, or self-administering medical cannabis in a school setting.

• No student may drive to any school function or property, or drive or park on any school property, if that student has been administered cannabis within the preceding 24 hours.

• At no time is medical cannabis permitted to be stored in a school setting. The primary caregiver has sole responsibility for possessing and administering medical cannabis, and for removing any remaining medical cannabis from a school setting after administration.

• A school may provide a private room at the school at a reasonable time(s) for the administration of medical cannabis.

• The primary caregiver must possess the medical cannabis in a container clearly labeled with: (1) the student’s name and date of birth; and (2) the dosage allotment.

• Medical cannabis that is possessed and administered in a school setting must be in the form of a nonrefrigerated capsule, extract, or concentrate that is ingested orally and that is not inhaled in particulate form as a vapor or by burning.

• A primary caregiver shall not administer medical cannabis in a manner that creates disruption to the educational environment or causes other students to be exposed to medical cannabis.

• Students and staff who do not adhere to the procedures outlined herein may be subject to disciplinary action.

Responsibilities of Primary Caregivers:

In order to possess, store, and administer medical cannabis to a qualifi ed student in a school setting, the primary caregiver must demonstrate evidence to the District that the student is authorized as a qualifi ed patient pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. In addition, the primary caregiver must comply with the following requirements:

• Provide the following documents to the District at least 48 hours in advance of possessing, storing, and administering medical cannabis in a school setting:

— A copy of the qualifi ed student’s written certifi cation, which is valid for one year from date of issuance; — A copy of the qualifi ed student’s NMDOH issued ID card, which includes the name of the primary caregiver; — A copy of the qualifi ed student’s written treatment plan, which is valid for one year from date of issuance; — A signed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization, using the HIPAA authorization form posted on the NMDOH website, that permits the school to obtain current information from the NMDOH regarding the enrollment status of the qualifi ed student in the NMDOH medical cannabis program. The HIPAA authorization shall be retained as a medical record.; and — A written release of liability in form attached hereto • Provide the District with a current written certifi cation and written treatment plan at, or prior to, the beginning of the school year for which the written certifi cation and written treatment plan shall apply; • If the qualifi ed student is enrolling in a school within the District following disenrollment, withdrawal, transfer, or graduation from another school, the primary caregiver must provide a current written certifi cation, written treatment plan, and new release from liability.

Medical Cannabis Restrictions:

• Students are prohibited from possession, use, distribution, sale, or being under the infl uence of a cannabis product in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.

• No school shall discipline a student who is a qualifi ed student on the basis that the student requires medical cannabis as necessary for the student to attend school or an in-state school-sponsored activity.

• No school shall deny eligibility to attend school to a qualifi ed student on the basis that the qualifi ed student requires medical cannabis as a reasonable accommodation necessary for the student to attend school or a school sponsored activity.

• This policy shall not apply to school setting located on federal property.

• If the federal government indicates in a written communication that the district’s federal funds are jeopardized by this policy, the Board declares that this policy shall be suspended immediately and that the possession, storage, or administration of medical cannabis in a school setting shall not be permitted. In such event, the district shall take reasonable steps to provide notice of such policy suspension to impacted students and their primary caregivers.

Also on hand Monday were the Artesia High School counselors to discuss vaping, which Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Danny Parker said has become a problem at the high school, some of the other APS schools, and across the country Counselors Halee Goff, Adrienne Blackburn and Debbi Kinnibrugh gave a presentation on vaping to the board.

“It’s not just the high school,” Goff said. “It’s actually schools across the entire district. Over the past two years, we have seen a drastic rise in the number of students within Artesia Public Schools who are vaping.

“One school district in Utah actually found two vape pens that tested positive for meth. The troubling part of that is that after extensive interviews with students, neither of the two students who had them knew they were smoking meth; they thought they were smoking nicotine.

“I cannot provide local data due to privacy issues. However, it is a very real problem in our district.”

In order to begin addressing the problem, the schools will present “Steered Straight” by Michael DeLeon, who travels the U.S. teaching youth the truth about drugs in an attempt to give them a brighter future.

The program will be presented to APS students in grades 4-12 throughout the day Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12 and 13, with a 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, presentation for parents and community members at the Artesia High School Auditorium.

“We feel strongly that every parent should be educated on this topic, even those who may not believe that their students are participating in this dangerous habit, because chances are that if they have not smoked it directly, they know somebody who has and they can relate to what is going on,” said Goff. “Our students very much know that vape is in our schools, and so we would like to address all of our students as well as our parents and our community members.”

In other business Monday, the board received an “unmodified”

opinion from auditor De’Aun Willoughby with the Office of the State Auditor, meaning “numbers are good and accurate.”

The board also approved a bid from Crouch Plumbing for district plumbing services in the amount of $88 per hour; a proposal for an office area at Artesia High School for the attendance officer from Holloway Construction in the amount of $49,954.29; and a bid from AK Sales in the amount of $78,170.33 for construction of a press box at the Robert Chase Soccer Field within the Mack Chase Athletic Complex.

In staff and operations business, Superintendent John Ross Null reported the retirement of Bertha Lucero, nurse at Park Junior High School, and Bob Perkins, technology for the district; the resignation of Jessie Olivas, Spanish/bilingual teacher at Park Junior High; and the employment of Patricia Christie, educational assistant at Grand Heights Early Childhood Center, Amanda Carter, special education assistant at Yucca Elementary School, and Mario Vasquez, Spanish/ bilingual teacher at Park Junior High.

School board elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, with board member Jeff Bowman running unopposed and Cherie Widmayer running opposed by former board member Carolyn Shearman.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the APS board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in the Lowell M. Irby Board Room at the Artesia Administration Building.

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