The legislature made last-minute cannabis reform measures and sent the governor a host of changes to the state’s marijuana laws, including a study proposal to allow students access to medical marijuana.
“The Cannabis Control Commission, in consultation with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Public Health, shall conduct an investigation into the possession, administration and consumption of medicinal marijuana, as defined in Chapter 94I, in public or private schools. in the commonwealth when it comes to students,” reads the proposed law.
The goal of reforms, lawmakers say, is to make a thriving industry available to the communities most affected by the illicit cannabis trade. The law, as written, will also increase state oversight of how cities and towns issue cannabis licenses and begin to lay the groundwork for on-site consumption establishments.
Secretary of State Sonia Chang-Díaz, chair of the cannabis policy committee, said the bill would restore a broken system.
“It will rebalance the playing field where, until now, rich companies have worked their way through the licensing process and yet too many local small businesses and black and brown entrepreneurs have been shut out of the industry,” she said. said.
Gov. Charlie Baker generally won’t comment on a bill, except to say he’ll consider signing it after review, a point his spokesman reiterated to Herald Monday.
The compromised legislation that came out of the joint committee hours after the legislature concluded their formal cases for the year left both chambers without a Senate ruling that would have made medical marijuana available to both inmates and students in public schools.
The second half of that idea will now be studied by the legislature, according to Senate Ways and Means chairman and conference committee member Senator Michael Rodrigues, who said the committee will “study the use of medical marijuana in schools so we can set a path.” forward for students who would benefit greatly from the medical use of marijuana as accommodation.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood can harm the developing brain.”
In addition, the CDC says that teens who use marijuana are at greater risk of developing certain mental illnesses.
“The association between marijuana and schizophrenia is stronger in people who start using marijuana at a younger age and are more likely to use marijuana,” reads the federal agency’s public health page.
A spokesperson for the Senate president’s office confirmed that the investigation would examine student use of medical marijuana.
It’s unclear how the plan, if implemented after the study, would fit into current federal law, which still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which “are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
READ THE LEGISLATION: Cannabis Reform Act
Herald wire service contributed.