California bill would allow medical cannabis on school campuses

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SACRAMENTO — Some California parents would be allowed to give their children medical marijuana on school campuses under a bill passed Monday by the state Assembly and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

State law has allowed minors to access medical marijuana since the 1990s but prohibits it on school campuses. That means parents have to remove their children from school or meet them off campus to give them a dose.

The bill says the marijuana would have to be in non-smoking or vaping form, such as in capsules or oils, and it could only be given to students with a medical marijuana prescription. The bill lets school districts opt-in to the policy; it does not mandate them to allow it.

It was one of dozens of bills passed Monday by the Legislature ahead of a Friday deadline to complete its business for the year.

Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill, who carried the bill, said his legislation would aid children and teenagers with severe medical disabilities.

The bill was inspired in part by a South San Francisco teenager in his district who would have up to 50 seizures a day before he got a medical marijuana prescription, Hill's office said. In Santa Rosa, California, a court has allowed a 5-year-old girl to take cannabis oil with her to kindergarten to treat her rare form of epilepsy, The Press Democrat reported . The judge's order is temporary as he weighs a final ruling.

The school district tried to prohibit the child from bringing her medicine to school, which the family argued was a violation of protections for disabled students, according to the newspaper.

Other action taken by the Legislature included:

—The Senate passed a bill prohibiting alcoholic beverages that include marijuana. Assemblyman Ken Cooley, a Democrat from Rancho Cordova, introduced the bill after bartenders began mixing CBD oil, a cannabis extract, in cocktails. It now goes to the Assembly.

—The Assembly passed legislation aiming to ensure mail-in ballots count even when voters use sloppy signatures. It would require counties to check with voters before discarding a ballot if the signature doesn't match the one on the voters' registration file.

—The Assembly passed a bill prohibiting people from purchasing more than one long-gun in a 30-day period, with exceptions. The same prohibition already applies to handguns. The bill goes back to the state Senate. Another bill headed to Brown would put further restrictions on gun ownership by people with mental illness.

—The Assembly passed a bill to let San Francisco pilot so-called safe injection sites where people can use illegal drugs like heroin under medical supervision. It's intended to reduce overdose deaths. The bill now heads to Brown's desk.

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Associated Press writers Sophia Bollag and Jonathan J. Cooper contributed reporting.

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