In light of heightened medical marijuana usage, the Belgrade School Board is working on a policy that likely will ban the drug from school property, trustees said Monday.
The district already has a strict “zero tolerance” policy for prescription drugs that students to check in all prescriptions with the school secretaries, Trustee Peggy Lucas said. The policy applies even to over-the-counter medication and restricts students from having prescription drugs in their cars.
The board has not decided the issue, but trustees are leaning toward banning medical marijuana entirely, board member Peter Morgan said.
“If you are in that much pain and in that circumstance, you shouldn’t be in school,” he said.
As of June 30, 45 people under age 18 are on the medical marijuana registry, according to state records. The number has doubled since March, when the state had 22 minors as registered users.
Lucas said the district should be “proactive instead of reactive” given that the issue has been in the spotlight in recent months.
“Since the (federal) government says the it is a controlled substance, we should not allow it in our schools,” she said.
The issue will be decided at a Friday morning meeting, when board members and trustees plan to go over revisions to the student handbook, chairman Lance Voegele said.
In other business Monday:
n Trustees tabled action on the school budget until District Clerk Jay Bates nails down the debt service numbers for the district. Those numbers are currently being examined by the Gallatin County School Superintendents of Schools. The budget will be up for a vote during Friday’s meeting.
Bates said the budget is solid for this year, but he has concerns over next year’s numbers largely because the state Legislature may reduce funds by 2 percent.
As it stands, the district is looking at a combined (elementary and high school) budget of $18.42 million, according to district records. Broken down, the elementary district budget is $12.42 million. The high school district budget is $5.99 million.
Direct local taxes contribute $5.86 million to the overall total, while indirect taxes — funding from the state — totals $12.53 million, according to district records.
n Trustees approved milk and bread contracts for the district’s meal programs for the upcoming school year. Darigold was the winning bidder for milk; Wheat Montana was the bread winner.