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The Joplin School District is reviewing its policy on student medications to clarify the legality of medical marijuana and cannabidiol-derived products.

The revised policy, as proposed for the Joplin Board of Education to review on Tuesday, would explicitly prohibit the possession or administration or marijuana or marijuana-infused products for medicinal purposes on district property or at district events. Voters in 2018 approved the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri, but such products are prohibited under federal law, the policy notes.

In accordance with Missouri law, the policy would allow parents or guardians with a valid hemp extract registration card to possess CBD oil on district property for the purpose of administering it to their child for the treatment of epilepsy. Students who are 18 or older and who have a valid hemp extract registration card would be allowed to possess CBD oil on district property “for the limited purpose of bringing it to the health office, where it will be stored with other medications and administered to the student by the nursing staff for the treatment of epilepsy.”

Students with prescriptions for medications containing CBD would be allowed to possess them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved on CBD-infused drug, Epidiolex, as a prescription drug for the treatment of seizures, according to guidance from the Missouri School Boards’ Association.

The revised policy doesn’t change the potential consequences for students or employees who are found to be in violation of it. Consequences for violation can include suspension or expulsion for students, and discipline up to and including termination for employees.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the school district has updated its policies following the legalization of medical marijuana in the state. The school board previously adopted a policy that prohibits the use of marijuana, including that which is used for medical purposes, on school grounds by parents and guardians, school patrons and other visitors.

In other student health concerns, the state association has added naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, to the list of emergency medications that districts may choose to keep on hand. Naloxone, which is available without a prescription at most pharmacies and can be administered either as a nasal spray or an injection, can counteract the effects of an opioid overdose “and is very effective in preventing death from an overdose of heroin, codeine and other drugs in the opiate family,” the association says in its draft policy.

The Joplin district has opted not to include naloxone in its policy at this time. It will be available for use by school resource officers, but not for school nurses to dispense, said Sandra Cantwell, executive director of student services.

The policy lists emergency medications to be kept on hand by district staff as including prefilled epinephrine auto syringes and other asthma-related medications.

Meeting details

The Joplin Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the administration building, 825 S. Pearl Ave. Because the meeting will be held virtually, viewers can watch a live stream of the meeting on YouTube at youtube.com/jethd, on Facebook at facebook.com/jetHDjoplin, or on Channel 60 for Cable One/Sparklight customers. Members of the public who wish to comment regarding an agenda item should email the board secretary at patwaldo@joplinschools.org at least 24 hours prior to the meeting for login information.

A closed session has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. for the hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of employees.

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