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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #18-11
February 7, 2018
Contact: Bill Ainsworth
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Torlakson Announces School Resources Following Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) is offering resources aimed at preventing those under 21 from using marijuana, something even more important now that Proposition 64 has taken effect.

Proposition 64, besides legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, creates a tax on cannabis for wholesalers, retailers, and purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Eventually, some of these tax funds will be directed by the CDE to promote health, education, and drug prevention.

“This is an excellent time to remind parents, students, educators, administrators, and the public about the detrimental effects of marijuana, especially to the developing brains of children,” Torlakson said. “In this new environment we need to be even more vigilant in making certain school-aged children understand the importance of making healthy decisions. We are committed to making sure that new resources will effectively support schools, families, and communities in this charge.”

Torlakson said the new CDE Adult Use of Marijuana Web page provides information to assist students, parents, educators, and local education agencies in the prevention and intervention of cannabis use.

“We look forward to working with our partners at the California Department of Health Care Services who have been leading the effort to share science-based facts about the effects of cannabis use,” Torlakson said.

Proposition 64 does not change regulations regarding use of marijuana by preschool through grade 12 students. The California Education Code continues to prohibit use, possession, possession for sale, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Proposition 64 contains a number of safeguards against the use of marijuana by those under 21 years of age.

  • It prohibits advertising aimed at children and bars any marijuana ads from within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center.
  • It prohibits marijuana businesses from being located within 600 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center unless allowed by local government.
  • It bars anyone under the age of 21 from working for a marijuana business or being on the premises of a recreational marijuana retailer.

Torlakson said CDE will seek to use funds from Proposition 64 taxes to help students counter the negative effects of marijuana and address vital unmet needs in programs that have proven to be effective in preventing students from engaging in risky behaviors, as intended by Proposition 64.

Additionally, CDE will identify critical needs in drug use education and prevention, school mental health, child development, parent and early education programs, career technical education, after school programs, and school facilities.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
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