Mary Jane To The School Nurse’s Office

This month, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students. But not all nurses may be on board.

Tammy Wollbrinck is President of the Colorado Association of School Nurses. She said the primary reason children may be prescribed medical marijuana is for seizures.

But Wollbrinck said she and other school nurses have some concerns about administering the drug.

Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, she said, “nurses could actually lose their license. They also would be at risk for losing their malpractice insurance.”

Individual nurses as well as schools and districts are allowed to opt out under the new law. And Wollbrinck said, she wouldn’t be surprised if many of them do. But, she said, students still have options. A parent or guardian can come to the school and give the medical marijuana dose to the student.

In the Mountain West only Colorado and Montana have legalized medical marijuana. Voters in Utah will decide on this issue in November.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.