Joplin School Board looks to stay ahead of changing marijuana laws

Joplin School Board looks to stay ahead of changing marijuana laws

Medical marijuana is coming to Missouri, and fairly soon.

“Any marijuana consumed in the state of Missouri has to be grown in the state of Missouri, so we’ve got to get our licenses on Dec. 31st and then we’ve got to grow and cure the product to get it on the shelves,” said Paul Callicoat of Joplin.

Changing laws often mean changing school board policies, and that could be the case for the Joplin School Board. They’ll soon consider the adoption of a Missouri School Board Association policy, that forbids visitors from bringing medical marijuana on to school district property or to school-sanctioned functions.

“Because medical marijuana is not legal from the federal aspect, we look at all of our policies, and we look at state and federal law. And also because we accept a lot of federal funds, we need to make sure that we’re complying” said Assistant Superintendent Kerry Sachetta.

The proposed policy doesn’t single out medical marijuana, but adds it to other items forbidden on school property, including alcohol, illegal drugs, and weapons. What makes this situation unique for the school board, is the fact that the state and federal government aren’t on the same page.

“A lot of times when things come down from the state level, it usually mirrors what’s going on at the federal level. A lot of the things we get come down from the federal government, at least as far as Supreme Court decisions and so on. So this is a little bit unusual,” said Sachetta.

A 4-State medical marijuana expert shared his opinion on the proposed school board policy with KOAM. Paul Callicoat is a retired doctor who hopes to grow medical marijuana at his Sarcoxie nursery while running a dispensary in Joplin.

“It’s definitely a reasonable policy to have by the state school board, but it does seem like a moot point to me. Public consumption is not allowed in the state, regardless of your age, regardless of where you’re at. Public consumption really shouldn’t be an issue,” said Callicoat.

Dr. Callicoat also does not believe medical marijuana users need to have their medicine on them at all times, and thinks they should be able to survive if they have to travel to a school without it.

“As far as an acute need, are there any acute cases for medical marijuana? No there’s not,” said Callicoat.