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Youth lead resolution in support of cannabis-free schools

Press release

San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2018) - The San Francisco Board of Education unanimously approved a student-led resolution in support of cannabis-free schools at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

The new policy supports current San Francisco law requiring at least 600 feet of space between medical cannabis dispensaries and public or private school property, and strongly discourages the advertisement of cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis businesses, or cannabis services in a 600-foot radius around school grounds.

"The Student Advisory Council and I authored this resolution to ensure that students in the SFUSD-- particularly elementary and middle school students-- are not exposed to cannabis advertisement in the areas surrounding their school campus. We do not oppose responsible cannabis usage, but we do want to limit the interaction the cannabis industry has with our younger students,” said Chanun Ong, a youth delegate to the SF Board of Education.

The resolution also supports an ordinance passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2016 that requires every person granted a permit to sell cannabis to post a sign or other notice in their establishments, stating that in San Francisco it is unlawful to sell cannabis products to persons who are under 21 years of age.

SFUSD is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to continue providing information to students about the dangers of using cannabis products.

Recreational cannabis was legalized in California on January 1, 2018, yet its effects on youth have not been comprehensively proven. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that cannabis can potentially cause health and developmental issues in youth.

"The unanimous support of my board colleagues for this student-led initiative sends a strong message that we want to protect our kids from the potentially harmful effects of cannabis legalization," stated resolution co-author Dr. Emily Murase of the Board of Education.

In 1991, SFUSD introduced a Comprehensive Health Education policy mandating health education instruction for K-12 students. The Board of Education has consistently updated SFUSD health-related policies to support cannabis-free schools for students.

On June 22, 1999, the Board of Education passed the “The Commercial-Free Schools Act,” prohibiting exclusive vendor contracts, brand names, and tobacco subsidiary food products in an educational setting.

On March 13, 2018, the Board of Education amended the Board policy “Drug and Alcohol Free Schools,” to reflect Proposition 64 (2016) which prohibits any person from possessing, smoking, or ingesting cannabis on school grounds while children are present.

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Page updated on 06/13/18