AUGUSTA — The Board of Education approved on Wednesday a policy on student medical marijuana and several other new or updated policies.

The new policy on students who are certified by a medical professional to use medical marijuana was added in light of state law which allows its use, board members said, not out of concern about the issue locally.

Superintendent James Anastasio said the policy is based on a model policy from the Maine School Management Association. The policy is meant to give guidance to staff members in dealing with students who use medical marijuana to manage a medical condition and have written certification from a medical provider for the use of medical marijuana. The policy states students would not be allowed to possess medical marijuana in school and requires medical marijuana to be administered, in nonsmokable form, by a primary caregiver, such as a parent. The Winslow School Board approved a similar policy last month, as school districts across the state work to comply with a state law passed last year.

The policy states, “The Board recognizes that there may be some students in the Augusta School Department schools who rely on the use of medical marijuana to manage a medical condition and who may be unable to effectively function at school without it.”

It further notes the person administering the medical marijuana must provide proof that he or she is the primary caregiver of the student, the student has a current written certification from a medical provider for the use of medical marijuana, and the student needs to have the drug administered during the school day, as opposed to before or after school.

The schools received seven responses about the medical marijuana policy on an online system on the School Department’s website at www.augustaschools.org meant to take public comments on new policies.

Respondents, according to Assistant Superintendent Donna Madore, commented that they did not believe the policy would have a positive effect on schools and they did not want marijuana to be in the schools.

“This is a law, a new regulation, and we have to provide allowances for it to happen,” Madore said.

Board member Laura Hamilton said she was surprised only seven people responded to the new policy online.

No members of the public were at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Board members unanimously approved the medical marijuana policy and several other policies without debate.

Other new or updated policies were approved about homework, report cards and progress reports, employee social media privacy, reporting child abuse and neglect and truancy.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj