NM School’s Ban On Medical Marijuana OK Under Federal Disability Law

The decision marks one of the first federal cases on schools and cannabis

A federal court in New Mexico has held that school entities do not have to permit the presence or use of medical marijuana on school grounds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504). Notably, this is one of the first federal cases to provide a ruling on the issue of prescription medical marijuana on school property.

To avoid potential accommodation issues, school officials and entities should understand whether their state’s laws permit any specific conditions that allow the use of medical marijuana on school grounds.

Albuquerque Public Schools v. Sledge

A student who was qualified to use medical marijuana for seizures under New Mexico state law was denied permission to administer it on school grounds. Upon being told this by the school, the parents requested that the school district provide homebound or in-the-home instruction. The district refused and offered that, in the event of a seizure, the parent could remove the student from school grounds to administer the medical marijuana. The parent brought claims under the IDEA and Section 504 asserting that the school district acted improperly under both statutes in the handling of this medical marijuana issue.

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