New Law Allows Washington Students To Use Medical Marijuana On Campus

By Beth Leipholtz 05/06/19

Prior to the passing of the new law, students would have to leave campus and miss school to take their medication.

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Washington students in the classroom

The recent signing of a bill will allow students in the state of Washington to use medicinal marijuana at schools. 

According to High Times, the signing of Ducky’s Bill by Gov. Jay Inslee will allow the use of medicinal marijuana in public schools, with a few provisions: it must be given in liquid form and can only be given by a parent of the student.  

Previously, Inslee told K5 News that the goal of this bill is to keep students in school for more time rather than face losing that time because of having to be given their medication.

“Currently children who need medical marijuana… have to leave school. They’re missing valuable time,” he said. 

According to High Times, the bill is named after 9-year-old River “Ducky” Barclay of Aberdeen, Washington. Barclay suffers from a genetic disorder referred to as Batten disease. 

Because of this, she suffers from seizures. However, when the girl was in second grade, her parents found that the use of cannabis oil decreased her seizure activity and also lead to her being more focused during her classes. 

As a result, Barclay and her father, John, began advocating for the use of such medications on school property. Her father was present at the bill signing, but reportedly said his daughter was too sick to be present. 

According to her father, Ducky can no longer speak and is now blind. She is not expected to live past the age of 14. However, John says, she seemed to understand when he told her the bill had been passed. 

“All I could say was, ‘I have the good news.’ She reacted very happily to it,” he said.

According to Washington state Rep. Brian Blake, who sponsored the bill, Ducky’s story has been inspiring. 

“Like Ducky, there are other children in our state who struggle with seizures or other disorders and I am convinced that these bills will make their lives better,” Blake told KXRO. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can help these kids so they can have the same opportunity to learn and enjoy school as any other Washington student.”

For Ducky’s father, the chance to see the lives of other students improve due to his daughter’s action is meaningful.

“It’s humbling and overwhelming,” he said.

Similar bills have been passed in other states, the High Times reports, including New Jersey and Colorado.

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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