A bill filed last week in the Missouri House would mandate that the State Board of Education to form a specialized workgroup aimed at developing academic performance standards for marijuana usage education in public schools.

Representative Brian Seitz, R-Branson, introduced HB 2565, which requires the the development of “written curriculum frameworks relating to marijuana usage education that are designed to ensure that students twelve years of age or older learn the dangers of marijuana usage.”

The proposed bill would introduce at least one hour of education on marijuana usage each school year, targeting students aged twelve and older to understand the dangers associated with marijuana use.

The proposed bill calls for the inclusion of representatives from local health departments and law enforcement agencies in creating the workgroup that designs the curriculum.

Under the legislation, the State Board of Education will be responsible for adopting and implementing these academic performance standards by the 2025-26 school year, with plans to continue this education in subsequent years. The curriculum is designed to provide a balanced and factual view on marijuana, equipping students with the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding its use.

Critics and proponents alike are closely watching the development of this bill.

Supporters argue that educating the youth about the dangers of marijuana is a proactive step given the issues facing educators and a reported rise in use of THC products such as vapes and edibles by minors – both on and off school premises. But critics are concerned about the curriculum’s content and the potential implications of such education. They contend that the current language of the bill targets a legal industry that has seen little in the way of diversion to minors while ignoring the hemp-derived THC products available online, at gas stations, and in convenience stores among other locations, that have become increasingly popular and present real and immediate concern of use given its ease of access by minors.

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