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Article updated: 12/24/2013 7:34 AM

No medical marijuana for District 214 students, staff, bus drivers

To keep up with changing state law, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 officials recently changed their policy to prohibit medical marijuana on school property.

To keep up with changing state law, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 officials recently changed their policy to prohibit medical marijuana on school property.

 

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Northwest Suburban High School District 214 recently banned medical marijuana on school property.

Officials inserted language into their policy that prohibits students, staff and visitors from possessing, or being under the influence of medical marijuana while on school property.

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Superintendent David Schuler said it also will be part of the contract with all the bus and taxi companies that transport District 214 students.

"Even though they are not our employees, they are still bound by our policies," he said. "If they want to drive a bus that services District 214, they would have to agree to comply with these regulations."

District 214 board member Dave Petro reminded his colleagues that even though medical marijuana will be legal in Illinois, there are still laws against driving under the influence. Possession, sale and use of marijuana is still also illegal at a federal level.

"We can make stiffer regulations than the law does in some situations," Schuler said.

The ban includes students or staff who may be chronically ill and use legally prescribed medical marijuana.

"We have the ability to not allow that on our campuses and certainly not for any of our contractors," said Board President Bill Dussling. "It's just not going to be a part of our system."

Although the law allowing medical marijuana in Illinois takes effect Jan. 1, it will likely take until summer to work out the regulations.

Under the law, 60 state-regulated dispensaries will be allowed to distribute medical marijuana in Illinois, one of 20 states that have legalized the drug to treat serious illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. Dispensaries will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of the property line of a school or day care.

The law -- which is a four-year pilot program -- specifies that a patient can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of the drug every two weeks after getting a prescription from a doctor with whom they have a long-standing relationship.

State law will also restrict cultivation center locations so only 22 businesses can register to grow medical marijuana -- one in each state police district. None of them can be within 2,500 feet of the property line of a school, day care center or residential area.

Illinois municipalities are still working out how the legalization of medical marijuana will work.

Earlier this month Wauconda and Libertyville officials put temporary moratoriums on permitting any business to sell medical marijuana, because the use is not currently covered by village code.

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