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Mitchell Board of Education to consider school district's medical marijuana policies

The Mitchell Board of Education's first reading of the medical marijuana policies comes roughly three weeks after a panel of South Dakota legislators approved regulations that allow K-12 students in the state’s public schools who are medical cannabis cardholders to use it and access the plant in schools this year through the help of "registered designated caregivers."

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The Mitchell Board of Education will consider the purchase of a lot for the 2019-20 MTI Site House at its next regular meeting Monday, Aug. 12 at Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. (Republic File Photo)
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The Mitchell Board of Education will hold a first reading on Monday regarding the school district’s policies for medical marijuana.

During the 5 p.m. Board of Education meeting on Monday that will be held at Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy, the board will consider approving the first reading to revise and develop new school district policies related to regulations and rules for medical marijuana.

The Mitchell Board of Education's first reading of the medical marijuana policies that will be considered on Monday comes roughly three weeks after a panel of South Dakota legislators approved regulations that allow K-12 students in the state’s public schools who are medical cannabis cardholders to use it and access the plant in schools this year through the help of "registered designated caregivers." After medical marijuana became legal in the state under Initiated Measure 26 on July 1, the state lawmakers 5-0 passage of the regulations finalized the rules for medical cannabis use and access in public schools.

According to the state’s rules that were recently established, public school districts “may provide storage or administer medical cannabis to a student,” and “school personnel may volunteer to store and administer medical cannabis in a non-smokable form to any student cardholder.”

In addition, legal guardians or parents of student cardholders “must notify the school district before any medical cannabis is administered on or in school property,” which is defined as school buildings, vehicles or premises used or leased for school functions, including school-sponsored activities.

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The regulations also outline that students may not possess or self-administer medical cannabis on or in school property, including school-sponsored activities. That means only designated caregivers can possess or administer medical cannabis to the student or students. In addition, the rules state that “administration of medical cannabis cannot be in a manner that creates disruption to the educational environment or causes exposure to other students.”

However, school districts don’t have to comply with the rules, according to the regulations. With the recent passage of the medical marijuana regulations, school boards will be tasked to enact the rules by establishing their own policies before their school year starts, according to Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson.

Representatives Ryan Cwach, Jon Hansen, Kevin Jensen and Senators Jean Hunhoff and Timothy Johns approved the regulatory measures. Sen. Troy Heinert was not present during the vote at the meeting.

MTC equipment purchases

The board will also consider approving the purchase of several equipment items on Monday that will be used for educational purposes in some Mitchell Technical College courses, which includes two “tracked trenchers” and a digger derrick.

According to the board agenda, the trenchers are part of the Sourcewell Cooperative Buying Group. The board will also consider approving the bid for the digger derrick and bucket truck that would be used for Mitchell Technical College programs.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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