MA: School Officials Take Marijuana Into Consideration

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How does marijuana legalization affect the screening process of new employees in the school district?

Will they continue to be tested for the drug?

That’s what Lowell administrators are trying to figure out, now that marijuana use is legal in Massachusetts.

It’s very complicated, stressed Superintendent of Schools Salah Khelfaoui, especially because the federal government’s marijuana stance conflicts with state law.

“This is a discussion going on in all districts,” Khelfaoui said.

“It is an area that is quite delicate,” he added, pointing to the state versus federal conflict.

School Committee member Gerry Nutter made a motion Wednesday evening on this situation because of recent changes to state law.

Voters approved recreational-use legalization in 2016.

Nutter requested for the School Committee to work with the administration and city attorneys on reviewing/developing a policy regarding marijuana screening in employment requirements.

“We collect federal money, so I don’t know how that would play into it,” Nutter said.

“Every community is facing this,” he added.

The school administration and city solicitor will work on updating the policy, the superintendent said.