Marijuana Providers Near Schools

Adopted October 2010 – Reviewed and deemed relevant November 2014 – Revised August 2020 – Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes in the importance of preventing and eliminating factors that may be detrimental to the health, safety and well-being of all children and youth.

California State PTA believes that children and youth must be given every opportunity to reach their full potential. Concerned individuals, agencies, and organizations must join together to address the needs of all children and youth. Together, families, schools, and communities can effectively strengthen and enhance the maturation of our children, resulting in emotionally secure, healthy, and socially responsible adults.

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Health & Safety Code 11362.5) states that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where such use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

In 2016 California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years of age or older can legally grow, possess, and use cannabis for non-medicinal purposes, with certain restrictions. In 2017, California’s laws regulating cannabis were substantially revised by comprehensive new legislation known as the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).  As of January 1, 2018, AUMA also made it legal to sell and distribute cannabis through a regulated business.

With the passage of the above legislation, medical marijuana dispensaries are flourishing throughout California.  While these dispensaries are intended to serve the seriously ill, there is a growing concern that minors may also be able to purchase marijuana from the dispensaries. In addition, advertising fliers are often distributed in the general area of the dispensaries, encouraging the use of marijuana. Locating medical marijuana dispensaries “next to a school not only advertises substance abuse, but also glamorizes it.” With the passage of this legislation, no medicinal cannabis cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider who possesses, cultivates, or distributes medicinal cannabis pursuant to this article shall be located within a 600-foot radius of a school.  The legislation does not prohibit a city, county, or city and county from adopting ordinances or policies that further restrict the location or establishment of a medicinal cannabis cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider.

Parents should know:

  • It is illegal for anyone under 21 to smoke, consume, buy or possess cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot).
  • If under 21 and caught in possession of cannabis, a child will be required to complete drug education or counseling and complete community service (unless the child has a current qualifying physician’s recommendation or a valid county-issued medical marijuana identification card).
  • Cannabis can affect a child’s health:
    • Like cigarettes, smoking cannabis is harmful to the lungs.
    • Edibles may have higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If a child eats too much, too fast, they are at higher risk for poisoning.
    • Using cannabis regularly in the teen years may lead to physical changes in the brain.
  • Cannabis may impact a child’s educational and professional goals and how successful they are in life.

Because their health and future are important, check out and learn more about how cannabis use impacts your body and brain.

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