• Leaders consider impact of medical marijuana legalization on Jacksonville schools

    By: Ben Becker , Action News Jax


    Two thousand medical marijuana dispensaries could be operating in Florida by this time next year after voters passed Amendment 2.

    School leaders in Jacksonville are working to figure out how the law will be implemented in schools.

    “This is unchartered territory for us,” Duval County School Superintendent Dr Nikolai Vitti said.

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    He said predicting the impact of medical marijuana in the district is hypothetical until the state legislature meets in March and decides on how to implement the law.

    “If the law is interpreted or allowed for us to say no, we may move on that direction," Vitti said. “But we haven't researched it enough."

    For comparison's sake, Colorado was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 2000, but it didn't legalize medical marijuana in schools until 2015.

    The new Florida amendment said anyone under the age of 18 can participate in the state program with parental permission and approval from two doctors.

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    “Where you stand depends on where you sit,” said Shari Tanner, a mother of  three. “For some schools, you need to send a note to a nurse and my child needs this medication at this time."

    Whether that’s how Florida proceeds is not yet determined.

    Vitti acknowledged administering medical marijuana at school, without creating a distraction, could be difficult.

    “As a school district, we have to better understand it from a medical position and why a particular student would be using it," Vitti said.

    Action News Jax asked the St. Johns and Clay County school districts about their approaches to Amendment 2. Both said they will look for guidance from the legislature and the Florida Department of Health.

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