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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.

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"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana," Attorney General Eric Holder said last October. "But we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal."

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Meanwhile, the California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected limits on medical marijuana imposed by state lawmakers, finding that people with prescriptions for pot can have and grow all they need for personal use.

Marijuana used to treat ADHD

At the same time, doctors have become more inclined to prescribe marijuana (as an alternative to Ritalin) for children diagnosed with ADHD.

It’s a controversial trend among medical practitioners.

“It’s safer than aspirin,” Dr. Jean Talleyrand told the New York Times. Dr. Talleyrand is a marijuana advocate who founded a network of 20 clinics in Oakland, Calif. which dispense medical marijuana – including to teenagers diagnosed with ADHD.

But Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley, calls it “one of the worst ideas of all time.”

He cites studies showing that the active ingredient in cannabis disrupts attention, memory and concentration – already issues for people diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder.

In addition to being at the forefront of medical marijuana law, California now is considering legalizing and regulating the general use of marijuana.

A proposed bill would remove marijuana and derivatives from existing statutes defining them as controlled substances and make it legal to possess, sell, and cultivate marijuana by those 21 and older, reports the Monitor’s Daniel B. Wood. It sets up wholesale and retail sales regulation with special fees to fund drug abuse prevention programs. And it bans local and state assistance “in enforcing inconsistent federal and other laws.”

A recent poll in California shows overwhelming public support for the idea.

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