In response to a trend of students bringing baked goods containing marijuana to school and consuming them on school grounds, the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors plans to consider a policy that establishes the district’s guidelines on student consumption of prescribed medical marijuana.

On Tuesday, the board voted to expel a male student for consuming and distributing brownies containing marijuana on the Mt. Blue High School campus. RSU 9 Superintendent Tom Ward said the district has been averaging about three or four such incidents per year, between the middle school and the high school, of students caught bringing either brownies or muffins containing marijuana to school.

Although a medical marijuana prescription was not involved in the most recent student expulsion, Ward said a “majority of our cases” involving students consuming marijuana on schools grounds have been related to medical marijuana.

“The trend of what we’re dealing with is students bringing medical marijuana brownies to school,” Ward said Thursday.

The proposed policy will go before the school board April 26. Ward said he could not disclose the policy’s full scope but said it would put the school in compliance with a state law passed last year that allows students to take prescribed medical marijuana on school grounds as long as it is administered by a parent or guardian. RSU 9 includes Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton.

Ward said the policy seeks to establish guidelines about consumption of medical marijuana by students with prescriptions on school grounds, to show that the district is “not going to tolerate” students brining marijuana products on school grounds.

In February, the Augusta school board approved a similar policy, which states that students are not permitted to posses medical marijuana while in school but may consume it — in a nonsmokable form — if it is administered by a primary caregiver. However, the Augusta policy was passed so the school would be in compliance with the state law, not because of concern about the issue within the district.

The Winslow school board also approved a medical marijuana policy in January.

Jennifer Zweig-Herbert, chairwoman of the RSU 9 board of directors, said she couldn’t comment on whether medical marijuana has been a growing problem for the district, but said she thinks a policy establishing the guidelines for usage in school should be in place.

“I think because medical marijuana is legal in Maine now, I think we should definitely have a policy, just like we have a policy on other legal medications,” Zweig-Herbert said.

Tuesday’s student expulsion was the second incident of a student being expelled for marijuana brownies since the start of 2016. In January, another student was expelled for distributing marijuana brownies to at least two classmates in December.

Ward said the student expelled Tuesday gave one classmate a brownie containing marijuana and that both students consumed the brownies while in school. As it became apparent that the two students “seemed to be high,” they were reported to administration. The classmate who received the brownie was not expelled but has been penalized, Ward said.

The student who distributed the brownie is expelled until the end of the school year but will be allowed to return at the start of the next school year. Ward said the district is working with the student to continue his education outside of school while he is expelled.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

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Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate