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Marijuana in the classroom? Sometimes it's legal

Medical marijuana legally prescribed to young people is showing up in classrooms. This is putting teachers and principals in a new and challenging position.

Aimee Polacci, garden product manager, carries a tray of cannabis clones to be sold at the Peace in Medicine dispensary in Sebastopol, Calif. The lone medical marijuana dispensary in this Northern California enclave has become such a pot destination that it has more patients on its rolls than the town has people.

Russel A. Daniels/AP/file

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A high school student found to have marijuana in the classroom would seem to be a prime candidate for a little “talk” with the vice principal – and maybe a trip to the police station.

But around the country today, hundreds – perhaps thousands – of high schoolers are bringing pot to school, and they’re doing it legally. Not to get stoned, but as part of prescribed medical treatment. And they don’t have to tell school authorities about it.

This is putting teachers and principals in a new and challenging position. In many counties and school districts, there are no clear guidelines – for school officials, students, or parents.

“This is all just kind of starting to happen,” high school principal Jeff Schlecht told the Ashland Daily Tidings in Oregon. “It does place us in an awkward position.”

For many students, the issue comes as no surprise.

“I’ve known about this for four years,” Ashland senior Wesley Davis, 17, told the newspaper. “Some of them have it for medical reasons, but others are just trying to get free weed and sell it, turn it around.”

Ritalin used as a recreational drug too

A similar problem has been reported with the prescription drug Ritalin, a stimulant used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – mostly among boys and young men. But as a recreational drug, Ritalin is known as “Vitamin R” or “R-Ball” – used to stay awake at exam time, to help lose weight, or together with alcohol and other drugs to prolong partying. It can produce effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines.


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