Student fights to publish medical marijuana story

Lakeland, Florida – The issue over medical marijuana has been well-represented in the news, but should that be the case in a school newspaper?

A Lakeland student had been fighting for permission to write an article about medical marijuana that would be published in the Lakeland High School Bagpipe, but was met with resistance.

"The story that I was pitching to write about was a neutral, non-biased, breaking news story on medical marijuana," said Abbey Laine, who said her teacher shot her down. "She basically acted as if it was just preposterous that I would try to include a drug-related article in a high school magazine."

The 18-year-old also pleaded her case to the principal of the school, but had no luck.

"They were both as vague as possible without really giving an answer," said Laine.

10 News contacted Wes Bridges, attorney for the Polk Co. School Board, to see if we could find out why.

Bridges counters Laine's assertion that a teacher turned down the idea by pointing the finger at the student editorial committee for rejecting the medical marijuana story pitch. He also says that the newspaper was restructured about a year ago to be used as a marketing tool and for community announcements.

But in the paper, there is a general news article by Laine published back in March. With only a few more weeks left of school, she vows to keep fighting that kids be informed.

"If I can get this published by the end of the year, I can be satisfied. But I haven't yet, so I'm going to keep trying," she said.

Laine said she is passionate about the subject because she was a cancer patient as a toddler. She thinks the drugs could benefit other young patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.


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