DENVER — A 15-year-old Colorado boy who helped pass a law requiring schools to allow students to use medical marijuana has died.
Jack Splitt used marijuana to treat pain from cerebral palsy and he and his mother, Stacey Linn, began pushing for what ultimately became known as Jack’s Law after a school employee ripped a skin patch delivering cannabis-derived medication off his arm in February 2015. Linn told The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/2bLgBUO) that Splitt’s debilitating muscle contractions worsened Wednesday and he died, just days after starting classes at Wheat Ridge High School.
“Jack had a tough life, but he was a trooper and a very brave young man,” Linn said. “When he smiled at you, it changed your life. I’ve had people tell me that when Jack smiled at them a year ago, they can still remember his smile.”
The law, which was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in June, requires schools to allow a parent or caregiver to administer medical marijuana on campus.
Previously the law allowed school districts to permit medical marijuana treatments for students under certain conditions but advocates said it was useless because none of the state’s 178 school districts used that authority.
School officials opposed the law, fearing they could lose millions in federal funds for allowing the use of a drug illegal under federal law. But parents told lawmakers about how their children were unable to attend school because of the ban on marijuana treatments.
Medical marijuana has been legal in several states for two decades but school districts and lawmakers nationwide are only now starting to grapple with thorny issues about student use.
New Jersey also requires that schools accommodate medical pot as long as it is in a non-smokable form and is administered by a nurse or caregiver.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com