Marijuana use in Colorado schools still unclear, prevention on the rise

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Two years after recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, school officials still don’t know if more kids are using or bringing the drug to schools.

Educators say not much has changed since legalization, and the data tracking drug use, when available, are unlikely to have a big impact.

But schools are encouraged by grants — funded by a portion of the state’s marijuana tax revenue — that provide more health professionals in schools to support drug education and prevention programs.

“Marijuana use has been a big issue for a long time. It’s nothing new. Students have been able to find a variety of substances that aren’t legal for them for some time now,” said John Simmons, executive director of student services for Denver Public Schools. “But we have more in our bag of tricks now.”

Although Colorado began allowing retail sales of marijuana in 2014, it remains illegal for minors and prohibited in schools. Most districts haven’t made significant changes to curriculum or training, but some are relaxing how they discipline marijuana violations in schools, in some cases giving principals the flexibility to provide treatment or counseling instead of handing out suspensions.  To continue reading, click here.

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