Marijuana in the classroom? Sometimes it's legal
Medical marijuana legally prescribed to young people is showing up in classrooms. This is putting teachers and principals in a new and challenging position.
A high school student found to have marijuana in the classroom would seem to be a prime candidate for a little “talk” with the vice principal – and maybe a trip to the police station.Skip to next paragraph
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But around the country today, hundreds – perhaps thousands – of high schoolers are bringing pot to school, and they’re doing it legally. Not to get stoned, but as part of prescribed medical treatment. And they don’t have to tell school authorities about it.
This is putting teachers and principals in a new and challenging position. In many counties and school districts, there are no clear guidelines – for school officials, students, or parents.
For many students, the issue comes as no surprise.
“I’ve known about this for four years,” Ashland senior Wesley Davis, 17, told the newspaper. “Some of them have it for medical reasons, but others are just trying to get free weed and sell it, turn it around.”
Ritalin used as a recreational drug too
A similar problem has been reported with the prescription drug Ritalin, a stimulant used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – mostly among boys and young men. But as a recreational drug, Ritalin is known as “Vitamin R” or “R-Ball” – used to stay awake at exam time, to help lose weight, or together with alcohol and other drugs to prolong partying. It can produce effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines.
A study cited by the US Department of Education showed that of 6,000 high school students surveyed in Massachusetts, 13 percent were found to have abused Ritalin. The same study found that 4 percent of middle school students had also abused Ritalin.
The issue is very likely to spread around the country.
Earlier this month, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. And whereas the Bush administration had operated under the presumption that federal antidrug laws trumped state medical marijuana statutes, the Obama administration has reversed that position.