Jefferson County Public Schools will not allow 14-year-old student Jack Splitt, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and dystonia, to wear a doctor-approved medical marijuana patch. (7News photo)

Editorial: School crackdown on young medical marijuana patient unjustified

At some point in Colorado’s experiment with marijuana, an issue surrounding the schools and medical pot was bound to arise.

Jefferson County Public Schools is now the test case, and is using the strange defense that marijuana is federally outlawed to justify snatching the medicine from the hands of a Wheat Ridge middle school student with severe disabilities, according to 7News.

Fourteen-year-old Jack Splitt has been approved by doctors and the state to use medical marijuana. The type of marijuana Splitt used for his treatments is virtually devoid of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in pot that gets people high. The arm patch and oil that Splitt used contained cannabidiol, or CBD, which his parents say treats the boy’s spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and dystonia.

He was wearing a patch at Everitt Middle School when officials confiscated it and told him and his personal nurse not to return with it ever again.

“It helps him, and it’s natural,” said his father, Colby Splitt.

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District officials say because schools receive federal funds, federal laws apply.

Marijuana is prohibited under federal law but permitted under Colorado’s constitution. And the idea that federal officials would yank funding because a seriously ill patient is being treated borders on the fanciful.

In Colorado, medical marijuana is illegal for people 18 or younger, unless they receive a waiver. As of December, 462 minors were registered as marijuana patients.

Colorado law also bans marijuana on school grounds. However, if the pot doesn’t have the psychoactive component and is being used for medical purposes, it shouldn’t be lumped into the same category.

Schools should use common sense about when to crack down.

Denying a medically fragile student a medicine that helps him — out of fear of an unlikely federal reprisal — does not make sense.

The school should allow CBD and leave the boy alone.

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