State Sen. Brian Benjamin Calls For Medical Marijuana Administration In Schools

Ethan Harp/WCBS 880

Proposal Calls For Allowing Medical Marijuana To Be Administered In N.Y. Schools

April 19, 2018 - 3:18 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Friday is 4/20, the unofficial holiday for supporters of recreational marijuana.

But in New York state, the battle over medical marijuana is now headed for schools.

Osiris Stephen, the father of 5-year-old Aiden Tanshin Stephen, described the suffering his little boy faces from epilepsy.

“On his worst day, he would have over 100 seizures a day,” Stephen said.

The East Harlem family believes the seizures are cut dramatically by medical marijuana. In Aiden’s case, drops placed are in his mouth from an extract called CBD.

The substance cannot be provided on school campuses, and Aiden’s mother, Nina Simmons, said that means leaving work to come pull Aiden from class to treat him.

“It’s been extremely frustrating,” Simmons said. “We had to make many phone calls, including (with) the Mayor’s office. We’ve had meetings with the schools.”

A new bill sponsored by New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan) would require schools statewide to come up with policies allowing school nurses or other staffers to give eligible students the medical marijuana.

“It creates a policy that would allow for the school to not be concerned about whether they have any liabilities, et cetera, et cetera,” Benjamin said. “It just creates a process.”

Supporters say New York state would be the first in the nation with the rule.

The Empire State legalized medical marijuana four years ago.