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Could a nurse administer marijuana on a school campus?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Nursing License Defense |

There are some situations in which a nurse may be afraid that he or she will be disciplined simply for following a doctor’s orders. There may be some confusion over how those orders are to be carried out or even if they are legal.

One area in which the laws have changed significantly over the years is that of medical marijuana. California has had a more liberal approach to it for quite some time now, with certain patients able to use it for medical purposes from the age of 18, but the substance is still federally illegal and banned – even for medical purposes – in some other states. Additionally, medical marijuana is not usually given out to high school students on their campus. As you can imagine, a nurse who was asked to do just this was worried about the situation.

What did the nursing board decide?

The situation that occurred was when a high school student had been having seizures. That student went to a physician, and the physician said that cannabis could help cure the seizures. A nasal spray was provided, but it was supposed to be administered by the nurse at school. These things would need to occur to keep the student safe, but it raised some questions.

What the nursing board decided was that this would not be an issue regarding misconduct and that the nurse would not lose their license or be disciplined. In their statement, they noted that: “A registered nurse does not commit misconduct subject to disciplinary action when the nurse administers medicinal cannabis to a qualified patient student on a school campus pursuant to a physician’s care plan.”

It was also noted that this was unlikely to be a common situation, which is why the board was not worried about it becoming a widespread practice. Even so, you can see why it’s so important for nurses to understand exactly how the law pertains to them and all the legal options they have if they are worried about losing their license.

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