The County Superintendents of Schools join the burgeoning list of Arizona law enforcement, political, business and community leaders opposing the initiative known as Prop 203. Others opposed to Prop 203 include all 15 County Sheriffs, all 15 County Attorneys, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Terry Goddard, Senator Jon Kyl, Senator John McCain, Congressman John Shadegg, Attorney General Candidates Tom Horne and Felecia Rotellini, the Arizona Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Jerry Colangelo, Michael Bidwill, Michael Kennedy, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, The Arizona Republic, Center for Arizona Policy, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America/Arizona, Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition (MatForce), SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, the Institute on Global Drug Policy and many, many more.
PHOENIX – Arizona’s 15 county school superintendents are urging all citizens to vote “no” on Proposition 203, known as the ‘medical marijuana’ proposition. Warning it threatens the health, safety and well-being of students, schools and communities across the state, the Arizona Association of County School Superintendents (AACSS) predicts serious consequences if Prop 203 becomes law.
“Proposition 203 flies squarely in the face of longtime efforts by schools, law enforcement and community-based organizations to deter and decrease the use of drugs by students and citizens of all ages”, stated AACSS President Linda O’Dell, Gila County School Superintendent.
Specifically, Proposition 203 allows children, with parent permission, to obtain a medical marijuana card. Schools may not refuse to enroll students who are marijuana cardholders. Children who are marijuana cardholders will be allowed to smoke before school, during lunch breaks off campus and after school if they are at least 500 feet away from the school.
Also, all school employees – including administrators, faculty and school bus drivers – who are marijuana cardholders can smoke before, during lunch breaks off campus and after school provided they are 500 feet away from the school. Administrators, faculty and employees who are marijuana cardholders cannot be disciplined for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. A school district will have to prove actual impairment to prosecute employees who are marijuana cardholders, and the burden of proving impairment will be on the school. Nothing in Proposition 203 provides guidance as to what will be required to prove impairment.
And, Proposition 203 will allow school bus drivers who are medical marijuana cardholders to smoke marijuana just prior to driving students to and from school, although it states that medical marijuana cannot be smoked on the bus and does not “authorize” school bus drivers to drive “under the influence.” However, the measure stipulates that “a registered qualifying patient shall not be considered under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.”
For the safety, health and well-being of school-aged children and citizens of all ages, Arizona’s county school superintendents urge Arizonans to vote “no” on Proposition 203.