A new law signed by Colorado Gov. Colorado John Hickenlooper (D) earlier this month will allow the state's school nurses to administer marijuana to students who use the drug for medical purposes, The News & Observer reported.
What's the background?
Quintin Lovato, a 9-year-old who suffers from epilepsy and Tourette syndrome, inspired the bill, dubbed "Quintin's Amendment," which allows school nurses to give the medication in nonsmokable form to students who qualify.
The amendment is an expansion of "Jack's Law," which allows primary caregivers to administer medical marijuana to their children at school.
The third-grader's condition has improved since he started taking medical marijuana earlier this year.
"My new medicine makes me feel like I can really focus on baseball and school," Quintin told lawmakers, according to the Vail Daily.
But he needs three doses a day and both of his parents work, which means he often doesn't get the midday dose of his CBD oil called Haleigh's Hope.
"If I could take my Haleigh's Hope in the middle of the day, maybe my seizures would go away," Quintin told lawmakers, the Vail Daily reported. "If I didn't have seizures then I could live a more normal life like the other kids at school."
What did the governor say?
According to the governor, Colorado lawmakers felt compelled to pass the amendment after speaking to parents whose children need the medication.
"We find their reasoning and advocacy very compelling, especially that of Ms. Hannah Lovato and her son Quintin who inspired the bill," Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to the Colorado House of Representatives. "Their message was overwhelmingly persuasive, and we sign this bill today with much admiration for Quintin and expect great things in the future from this impressive young man."
Hickenlooper noted added protections to ensure the safety of all students and acknowledged the harm that marijuana can cause to the developing brain.
"While we sign this bill today, we do so with continued caution that the State must remain attuned to the need to ensure that recreational marijuana doesn't end up in the hands of our children," he wrote.
How will it work?
A parent or primary caregiver must deliver the medication in a clearly labeled container with specific dose instructions from the student's doctor.
Students will not be allowed to handle the medication on any school property. Schools must store the medication in a locked container, according to the law.
The law doesn't require schools to administer medical marijuana, rather it allows them to choose whether or not to do so.