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Medical Pot-In-Schools Bill Clears Another Legislative Hurdle

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) - Republicans and Democrats in Colorado rarely find much common ground on marijuana issues, but on Thursday both parties found an issue they both fully support.

The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved HB-1373, a bill that will force school districts to allow students who are prescribed medical forms of marijuana to use their prescription on campus.

"There are sometime where we just don't seem to have the backbone to step forward and move forward," said State Sen. Tim Neville (R–Jefferson County). "It's a damn good bill and I'll be a damn good yes vote on it."

Tim Neville
State Sen. Tim Neville (credit: CBS)

State Sen. Chris Holbert (R-Parker) sponsors the bill that is essentially a legal band-aid. In 2015 the Colorado Legislature passed a similar bill asking school districts to draft their own policies that would allow students to use their prescriptions. Instead, school district decided not to act at all, citing federal law that list marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

"We're still getting called to child protective services for giving our children a substance that is recommended by at least two doctors. Many of our children have more than two doctors," said Stacey Linn, whose son Jack suffers from a debilitating form of cerebral palsy.

"Finally, finally it wasn't a battle ... finally the people who represent us actually represented us," she said.

Senators were moved to tears by testimony from disabled children and their families who say that without the medical pot everyday life is nearly impossible. Lawmakers offered scathing criticism of school districts that forced the legislature to act for a second year in a row.

Senate Education Committee
Senate Education Committee (credit: CBS)

"We need to do something and give the parents back their power," says Holbert.

In a final statement before the vote State Sen. Mike Johnston (D-Denver) announced he would stand in approval – a move typically reserved for the floor of the Senate to honor the courage of individuals – and dedicated the move to the children and families who testified for the bill.

(credit: CBS)

"We'll never have another generation of kids that miss the chance to get an education and get healthy."

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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