Washington’s school superintendent is sending a reminder to students and parents: Just because the state has legalized marijuana possession, you still can’t have it or use it at school.
Superintendent Randy Dorn said Tuesday that there are reports from school districts indicating an increase of pot possession and use by young people, especially since voters passed the new law last month.
The law makes it legal for anyone age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, but they cannot smoke it in public, grow it or sell it.
Dorn said the law changes nothing about the rules in public schools. Marijuana is still illegal on school property and for anyone under 21.
There has been concern about how the new state law conflicts with federal law. Dorn said it’s important for school districts to enforce a no drugs policy if they hope to continue receiving money from the government.
“To receive federal funds, districts must abide by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and must have a Drug and Tobacco-Free Workplace and a similar student policy in place,” said Dorn in a statement.
Dorn also said having a medical marijuana card does not mean students or anyone else can bring marijuana onto school grounds.
“Students need to be engaged and prepared for school. Marijuana doesn't allow them to be either of those things. Marijuana dulls the brain. It can lead to paranoia, short-term memory loss and depression,” said Dorn. “And for those under 21, it is illegal.”
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said last week he expects Washington state to be sued by the federal government over the new law and that the case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.