The Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools has weighed in on behalf of the District in the city’s planning for medical marijuana facilities.
Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann asks the district to keep the distance from schools to medical marijuana facilities at 1000 feet as stated in the actual wording of the amendment passed by Missouri voters.
Multiple marijuana proponents have been addressing city council at multiple meetings saying the separation between schools and medical marijuana facilities is unnecessary and that because the amendment says local authorities can reduce the 1000 foot distance, the Council can ignore the distance amount mentioned on the ballot.
Here is the letter that was sent to Mayor McClure and the City Council:Letter-from-SPS-to-Council
District spokesman Stephen Hall noted to OI part of the Superintendent’s job is to advocate for the district’s 25,000 students and 4,000 staff on policy issues at all levels of government.
He also provided this statement to OI:
When Missouri voters approved Amendment 2, the language established safeguards for schools by setting a perimeter of 1,000 feet, with the ability for that boundary to be modified by local governing bodies. Maintaining safe and secure environments around our schools is a priority for Springfield Public Schools. This amendment to our state’s constitution is a new endeavor for Missouri, with unknown implications for neighborhoods and schools. For this reason, SPS encourages a conservative approach.
While some supporters of medical marijuana have blasted the Superintendent on social media for his letter, at least one medical marijuana company said they are completely behind the school district’s position.
Tre Hilton of the Wholesome Bud Company told OI that his company supports the position that the Superintendent has taken in his letter because “that was the wording on the amendment that people voted on.”
“We’re fine with the restrictions on distances between medical marijuana businesses and schools,” he said. “We’ve found potential properties for our businesses that would be a thousand feet from schools and from churches and daycares.”
City Council will be considering a substitute bill regarding distances for medical marijuana on Monday night that keeps a 1000 foot restriction in place for schools.