Saturday, January 12, 2019

A Parents and Caregivers Guide to New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis in Schools Legislation (Senate Bill 204)



A bill filed for the 2019 legislative session would allow students, who are participants in the New Mexico medical cannabis program, to access the medicine while at school. We have kids facing discrimination at the hands of public school administrators in New Mexico because they are medical cannabis patients using a life saving medicine. Republican Senator Candace Gould authored Senate Bill 204, Titled ‘Medical Marijuana in Schools’. Senator Gould told KOB 4 that, the bill attempts to balance protecting schools and protecting rights of New Mexican families.

The First Session of the 54th Legislature in New Mexico starts Tuesday, January 15th 2019 at Noon in Santa Fe. This legislation should be a week one priority and hopefully our lawmakers give it that designation this legislation deserves.

On October 25th 2018, we saw two mothers unite at the Roundhouse to advocate for allowing medical cannabis in schools. Lindsey Sledge, whose daughter Paloma was attending Albuquerque Public School and Tisha Brick whose son Anthony Brick was attending Estancia Municipal Schools, in emotional pleas both mothers told members of the Legislative Human Health and Services interim committee how medical cannabis is the only medication that works and both say it’s what keeps their children alive.

Source: KRQE News 13

These two Mother’s United at the Roundhouse, and it was their emotional pleas that led to the Patient’s Medical Cannabis Program having this happen for New Mexico. This is a victory for Lindsay, Tisha, and all the kids and students in New Mexico. It’s the hard work of these parents and a dedicated legislator like Senator Candace Gould. Cannabis News Journal and Safe Access New Mexico are proud of the advocacy work these mothers did for New Mexico.

Following the pre-filing of the legislation, Safe Access New Mexico and parents of pediatric patients did put separate request into the Governor's Office to do a Executive Order or to fast track this in the legislature and also reached out to Lt. Governor Howie Morales

Anthony, Paloma and all the kids/students this affects deserve to be able to get back to school as soon as possible. It’s just like Governor Lujan Grisham said about New Mexico state government in her first inaugural address on January 1st 2019; “There is no more time to lose.” and that “We will do things the right way again”. Hopefully next we can get the Governor and the New Mexico Department of Health to add Autism Spectrum Disorders into the medical cannabis program and help even more pediatric patients.


Here is what Parents and Caregivers can do to prepare for passage of Senate Bill 204:
There are three (3) components to the bill that parents and caregivers will need to prepare for your student. A written treatment plan for the administration of the medical cannabis will need to be created. The written treatment plan has to be agreed to and signed by the principal or the principal's designee of the qualified student's school and the qualified student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

In addition to the written treatment plan, a qualified student's parent or legal guardian need to complete and submit documentation as required by local school board or charter school rules that include:
(a) copy of the qualified student's written certification for use of medical cannabis pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.
(b) written statement from the qualified student's parent or legal guardian releasing the school and school personnel from liability, except in cases of willful or wanton misconduct or disregard of the qualified student's treatment plan.

When preparing the documentation listed above, Parents and Caregivers can contact the medical professional that recommended the medical cannabis for the student and the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program office for a copy of the qualified student's written certification into the medical cannabis program. It may be helpful as well to contact the Dispensary frequented for the students medicine. And be sure to check the expiration date of the student's medical cannabis card to keep it as current as possible.

In preparing the written treatment plan; it may also be very helpful to contact the medical professional that recommended the medical cannabis for the student, as each treatment plan is going to be unique to each students needs. It may also be beneficial to contact the Dispensary frequented for the students medicine if they have any registered nurses or medical professionals on staff. Places like R. Greenleaf and The Verdes Foundation both have solid programs for pediatric patients, and Verdes even has a Nurse Educators program that has always been free for matters just like this. 

The medical professionals can help you devise a plan for regularly scheduled dosing instructions for the written plan and what will need to be done for emergency dosing and creating a solid emergency contact list. 

The types of medical cannabis products in the written treatment plant are to be in a form that is not an aerosol and cannot be smoked or inhaled in particulate form as a vapor or by burning. Other crucial aspects of the written treatment plan will want to address the various changes in the school setting your student goes through; such as in the legislation it states a "school setting" means any of the following locations during a school day:
(a) a school building;
(b) a school bus used within the state during, in transit to or in transit from a school-sponsored activity;
(c) a public vehicle used within the state during, in transit to or in transit from a school sponsored activity in the state; or
(d) a public site in the state where a school-sponsored activity takes place”.
And those are all aspects of the “school setting” in the written treatment plan Parents and Caregivers are going to want to provide detailed directions if the medical cannabis medicine is needed by your student.

For the third document, releasing the school and school personnel from liability, you will be creating a legal document and should talk to your personal attorney if you have one available. If not, the University of New Mexico School of Law has a Community Lawyering program and The Child and Family Justice Clinic (CFJC) - that can provide free help or put you in touch with free help. (Contact for the UNM School of Law- Phone: 505-277-2146)



Here is what Everyone can do to help advocate for the passage of this Legislation:
Please do a nice Email and/or Write a letter, and Call your New Mexico Legislators for Senate Bill 204, Titled ‘Medical Marijuana in Schools’, asking for support and quick legislative action on the bill. 

Send the Governor an Email on the Governor’s Website Contact Form asking for support and quick legislative action on Senate Bill 204, Titled ‘Medical Marijuana in Schools’. Link Here: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact/



“Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.—The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

These courageous mothers united at the Roundhouse, fearlessly advocating for patients’ rights and safe access for the beneficial use of medical cannabis in schools on October 25th 2018. 

Now we, the medical cannabis community and advocates need to Unite for them in advocating for the support and passage of this new law!



Parent, Caregiver, Community Resources from the Article:
Link to Senate Bill 204, Titled ‘Medical Marijuana in Schools’ in PDF Format: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/bills/senate/SB0204.pdf
R Greenleaf’s Pediatric Patient Program
Contact any R. Greenleaf Location for details:
https://rgreenleaf.com/locations/ or Call (505) 200-9562.

The Verdes Foundation FREE nursing services:
https://www.verdesfoundation.org/about/nursing-matters/ or Call (505) 280-2814

New Mexico Department of Health (https://nmhealth.org/about/mcp/svcs/)
Medical Cannabis Program
505-827-2321 (Phone)
505-476-3025 (Fax)

Email Address
medical.cannabis@state.nm.us


Elevate yourself and your advocacy with Free training from Americans For Safe Access:
The Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center
ASA believes that good policy is created when those who are most affected are at the table. Just because you are medical cannabis patient, it doesn't mean that you automatically have a degree in public policy. ASA has always been committed to demystifying political systems and providing advocates the tools they need to participate in the processes in a meaningful way. Learn all about grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying, media spokesperson training, and much more.
Link Here: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/advocate_training_center


New Mexico Legislative Session Dates (https://www.nmlegis.gov)
The First Session of the 54th Legislature
January 15 Opening day (noon)
February 14 Deadline for introduction
March 16 Session ends (noon)
April 5 Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed
June 14 Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date.


No comments:

Post a Comment