Lawmakers to consider whether to allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students

DENVER -- The Colorado Legislature is considering allowing school nurses to administer doses of medical marijuana to students.

“A lot of times these kids, either because of their age or because of their condition, can’t administer the medical marijuana to themselves so they need somebody to do it for them,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle.

“Jack’s Law” already allows Colorado children to take medical marijuana at school.

Roberts’ amendment would go one step further, to give school nurses the authority to possess and administer cannabis in a “nonsmokeable form” to students with a prescription from a doctor.

It will be known as “Quintin’s Amendment," named after Quintin Lovato, a third-grader from Gypsum.

“Quintin was actually diagnosed with epilepsy four years ago today,” his mother, Hannah, said.

Quintin suffers from three types of seizures, including grand mal seizures. He also suffers from Tourette’s syndrome.

“The pharmaceutical medication basically made my son, for lack of a better word, extremely hard to dealt with,” Hannah Lovato said. “He would go from zero to a hundred in seconds whether he was angry, happy, sad.”

In January, Quintin was able to wean off the drugs and now uses a type of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope.

“He’s sleeping better at night. He’s happy. He’s loving baseball. He’s loving school again. He made two friends he didn’t have before,” she said.

However, the cannabis oil has not completely stopped Quintin’s seizures as it has in other children. Hannah Lovato said it’s because he isn’t getting the proper dosage.

“He should be getting three doses a day. Unfortunately, both of us are working parents. Like we said, we have five children," Hannah Lovato said.

"We can’t afford to stay home and because of that we can’t give him his third dose in the middle of the day.

“If a nurse was able to give him that third dose at school, that would open up his medication doses and help us out immensely. And it may mean the difference between where he’s almost seizure free right now and actually being seizure free if he was able to get that third dose."

Reynolds said he believes there would be no negative consequences of allowing school nurses to administer the medical marijuana.

“Students take medication for all types of things, including some scheduled drugs that they’re prescribed," he said. "So I think our school nurses are incredibly well trained to organize the medicine how they need to and making sure each student is getting the right medicine."

The bill will gets its first test in the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee at 1:30 p.m. on March 29.

“This doesn’t mean your child is going to get cannabis oil at school,” Hannah Lovato said. “I just hope that other parents will really think about that when they look at this law and realize that this isn’t just about a drug being given to my child at school.

"This is about my kid’s life being saved.”

AlertMe