Update: Recent Hearing With Adam's Family
July 25, 2018
We appreciate the community’s interest in the recent news stories with regard to one of our students, and in the due process hearing that occurred regarding her Individualized Education Program (IEP) on July 25, 2018. It is heartening to see the outpouring of support for the Adams family, both through communications directly with District administrators and Trustees and through attendance at the public hearing.
The District’s overarching goal is to serve the needs of all of our students. In doing so, we work to comply with a variety of laws, both at the federal and state level. Some of those laws include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and the California Health and Safety Code.
The District believes that there are legal barriers to permitting a student to possess and use medical cannabis on a school campus. Specifically, California Health and Safety Code section 11362.3 explicitly prohibits the possession or use of medical cannabis on a school campus or school bus. Additionally, federal law conditions receipt of federal funding on the maintenance of a drug-free school environment, and cannabis continues to be a prohibited Schedule I drug at the federal level. Thus, the prohibition of medical cannabis derives from federal and state law, not from District-level policy decisions. Change to those legal barriers would require legislative changes at the federal and state level.
The District has worked with the Adams family to navigate the complex legal environment surrounding this student’s needs, and continues to do so. The District looks forward to the due process decision, which will make clear the District’s obligations to the student under federal and state law with regard to her IEP. The District anticipates that the Administrative Law Judge’s decision will clarify for the parties whether the IDEA allows the District to place a student on a school campus and administer her medical cannabis in that setting despite legal requirements to keep that same medical cannabis off school campuses.