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home : opinions : opinions April 29, 2016

10/9/2010 1:14:00 PM
My Turn: PROP 203 negatively impacts schools
Tim Carter
Yavapai County School Superintendent

As an elected official, I feel that we have an obligation to speak out on proposed public policy that directly impacts our office and the Constitutional duties that we perform. Prop 203, which seeks to legalize "medical" marijuana in Arizona is on the ballot in November.

In my opinion, Prop 203 will negatively impact the health and safety of our students, our schools, and our communities.

Children and young adults will be allowed to have "medical" marijuana cards and schools may not refuse to enroll them! Prop 203 specifically allows children (with parental permission) to get marijuana cards. Children who are marijuana cardholders will be allowed to smoke before, during lunch breaks off campus and after school. (500 feet away from the school)

Administrators, faculty and employees (including school bus drivers) who are marijuana cardholders can smoke before, during lunch breaks off campus and after school (500 feet away from the school).

Administrators, faculty and employees who are marijuana cardholders can't be disciplined for testing positive for marijuana metabolites.

The school district will have to prove actual impairment, but the burden of proving impairment will be on the school and there is nothing in Prop 203 that provides guidance.

School bus drivers who are marijuana cardholders can smoke marijuana just prior to driving students to and from school. Prop 203 states that "medical" marijuana can't be smoked on the bus and does not "authorize" school bus drivers to drive "under the influence," however, it goes on to say "EXCEPT 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."

Please keep our schools safe and drug free. I will be voting NO on Prop 203.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Article comment by: Joe Miller

It appears that Mr. Carter needs to work a little harder on his own education.

Proposition 203 DOES NOT give anyone immunity from driving while intoxicated on cannabis or any other substance or being under the influence at work. It simply prevents law enforcement from claiming that metabolites of cannabis consumption constitute driving under the influence. You need to understand, Mr. Carter, that having the metabolites of cannabis in one’s system is NOT INDICATIVE of being under the influence!

Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Article comment by: D WK

I have also worked in the schools and have had ample opportunity to observe the problem. During my more than 35 years I have watched the Drug War itself produced far more harm to families than the “drug” marijuana ever could. I have watched as the breadwinner in the family goes to jail and the family is forced on public assistance. Often the kids end up in a foster care system that produces trauma in tearing kids away from parents. When the breadwinner returns they are often unemployable due to being an ex-convict. They cannot get student loans, public housing, a driver's license, or many other services that most take for granted. I might even forgive the harm to families if these efforts really worked. We have spent over one trillion dollars on the Drug War and imprisoned over twenty million people. The Drug War is worse than failed policy, it is an unmitigated and expensive lie forced on the American people. As a result, kids in high school report on the government's own surveys that marijuana is easier to get than alcohol or tobacco. In short, drugs are more readily available, they are cheaper, and they are more potent. If the government was really concerned about kids they would regulate it as they do alcohol or tobacco. The only ones that seem to have trouble finding marijuana are the patients. I just voted for proposition 203 on an early ballot. I hope you will join me in support of medical marijuana in Arizona which is long overdue.

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Article comment by: totally disgusted

Don't schools allow prescription medication to be ingested or consumed by students already? ADD meds, asthma meds, pain meds, anti-depresants, stimulants, relaxers, uppers, downers, stabilizers and sleepers. How is this different?

Oh wait, it is different because you can DIE from 12 Tylenol.
You can cause severe liver, kidney, intestinal, or stomach damage with prescription pills. Ingesting THC into the body with food has no adverse side affects whatsoever. Ask a real doctor.

Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010
Article comment by: Patrick Clark

Why supply your opinion to a subject studied in depth? Your opinion is pure speculation and not based on any study or facts. Free the weed that can diminish patient suffering. The pain you save could be your own.

Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010
Article comment by: Richard Schanz

Vote No on Prop 203. Don't believe these pro dopers. They would sell their own children's future just to be able to smoke dope. Heck, some of them no dought have already pimped off their kids just to get a high. It amazes me how these dopers skew the facts and criticize everyone that doesnt believe their BS. Peer pressure at its finest.

Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010
Article comment by: Loretta K.

This blatant attempt at twisting of facts from the School Superintendant is appalling. Disinformation at its finest Tim. I'm now more worried about what you may be teaching our kids. I'll certainly be paying more attention now.

Tim do you really believe parents and doctors are going to be rushing out to sign our kids up for medical marijuana cards? If so, you truly are out of touch with the community you are serving. What doctor would possibly get away with mass signing of pot cards for kids in Arizona, are you kidding?

You should be ranting about parenting, not medical pot. I've raised two drug free children by paying attention to what they were up to and who they hung around with. Pot being illegal had nothing to do with it. They told me when they were in school it was much easier to get pot then either alcohol or cigarettes. That's because we as a society regulate the sale of alcohol and cigarettes but let the criminal's regulate pot sales. Heck even when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's it was easier to get pot then alcohol. At least with medical pot we are taking the criminal element out of the equation. A small step, in the right direction, if you ask me.


Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Article comment by: Warren Peace

As an elected official, you should be ashamed of yourself for misrepresenting the facts.

Don't buy into the politics of fear.

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Article comment by: malcolm kyle

Here are some extracts from "MARIJUANA USE BY YOUNG PEOPLE: THE IMPACT OF STATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS By Karen O’Keefe, Esq. Legislative Analyst Marijuana Policy Project and Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology University at Albany, State University of New York:

Overall, the trends in states with medical marijuana laws are slightly more favorable than the trends nationwide. California, Washington, and Colorado have all seen much greater drops in marijuana usage than have occurred nationwide. When states consider proposals to allow the medical use of marijuana under state law, the concern often arises that such laws might “send the wrong message” and therefore cause an increase in marijuana use among young people. The available evidence strongly suggests that this hypothesis is incorrect and that enactment of state medical marijuana laws has not increased adolescent marijuana use. Consequently, legislators should evaluate medical marijuana proposals based on their own merits — without regard for the speculative and unsupported assertions about the bills sending the “wrong message.”

In California — which has the longest-term, most detailed data available — the number of ninth graders reporting marijuana use in the last 30 days declined by 47% from 1996 (when the state’s medical marijuana law passed) to 2004. An analysis commissioned by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs found “no evidence supporting that the passage of Proposition 215 increased marijuana use during this period.”

In Washington state, sixth graders’ current and lifetime marijuana use has dropped by at least 50% since the 1998 enactment of the state’s medical marijuana law. All other surveyed grade levels have seen both lifetime and current marijuana use drop by between 25% and 50%.

In Hawaii, youth marijuana use has decreased among all surveyed grade levels — by as much as 38% — since the 2000 passage of the state’s medical marijuana law.

Data from Maine suggest a modest decline since the 1999 passage of its law. Data from Nevada (whose law was passed in 2000) and Alaska (whose law was passed in
1998) show overall decreases in marijuana use, with a modest increase in a few individual grade levels.



Posted: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Article comment by: the truth hurts

vote yes prop 203.
it will give medical marijuana users the same rights as the children and adults using synthetic ,dangerous medicine right now in our schools, work and home.

why should someone be disiplined ,not allowed to work or drive if they are not impaired?
metabolites do not indicate nor dictate impairment,
there are cheek and mouth swabs that do detect current impairment, nothing changes the dui laws if you are impaired you are arrested, and easy to prove if proper police procedure is applied using mouth swabs.

here was your education lesson mr superintendent now you can stop spreading half truths and misinformation to people.

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