BYU Education & Law Journal


Education, Medical Marijuana, Education Law


The topic of this legal analysis is the administration of medical

marijuana to students attending Colorado K-12 public schools.

Colorado has been a pioneer in legalizing the use of marijuana. Beginning

in the year 2000, Colorado voters approved Amendment 20

legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This law specifically

allows minors to receive a prescription for medical marijuana

under certain conditions. An unintended consequence of this law

is that minors meeting its requirements are requesting, along with

their caregivers and physicians, to have marijuana-based medication

administered to them at schools. The purpose of this legal analysis

is to explore issues related to students prescribed marijuana based

medical products which require administration during school

hours. The analysis will include a summary of relevant federal and

state statutes, case laws, and legal discussion of issues educators,

policymakers, and legal scholars should consider.

John Dewey referred to education as, “a fostering, a nurturing,

a cultivating process.” A vast majority of educators work tirelessly

to ensure that their efforts to properly educate all children

meet the ideal established by Dewey over 100 years ago. For most

students, the current public school system works. However, in order

for students to be successful at school, their individual needs must

be met - and these individual needs are proving to be more complex

than in years past. An example of the complexities associated with

public education in the 21st century is found in the 33 states that

have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes for

adults. Of these 33 states, 17 allow the prescription of marijuana based

medical products to minors. There are students attending

public schools in Colorado who rely on marijuana-based products for

therapeutic uses and, after having met the legal requirements in the

state, these students, along with their parents and physicians, are

requesting permission to have these marijuana-based products administered

at school.