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Education Dept. Pulls Grants from Maine Schools

May 22, 2020

The Education Department of Maine announced that the state is no longer eligible for certain federal funds to support mental health programs. The reason is because some Maine schools allow students to access medical cannabis

Last year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration rolled out a new policy barring individuals and organizations from receiving grants if they’re used directly or indirectly to provide for cannabis treatment. It also states that federal dollars can’t go to institutions that provide or permit medical marijuana.

Mental Health Grants Withheld 

The department is so petty about this stipulation that when it comes to the already-approved $3.3 million worth of grants at play for Maine schools, the federal agency has threatened to undermine programs meant to assist with mental health and substance abuse. 

Past recipients of the grant program did not include such language regarding cannabis at the state-level. The following statement was directly added to the 2020 application:

“SAMHSA grant funds may not be used to: Directly or indirectly, purchase, prescribe, or provide marijuana or treatment using marijuana. Treatment in this context includes the treatment of opioid use disorder. Grant funds also cannot be provided to any individual who or organization that provides or permits marijuana use for the purposes of treating substance use or mental disorders.”

Medical Marijuana Access at School

It has yet to be determined if the agency has reached out to contact applicants or past recipients about the change. It seems the state of Maine is dealing with officials who are letting their ideological views degrade mental health resources. 

Maine is not the only state with at-school cannabis medication programs. Along with 12 other states and Washington, D.C. Maine allows students to access cannabis in schools.  For some places like Florida and Washington state, the decision is up to the district.