Girl with cancer sues her elementary school for banning her medical marijuana

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

There is a compromise, for now, in an 11-year-old's battle to take marijuana products to her school.

But a compromise was sketched out in court Friday.

Ashley has been using a medical marijuana foot patch and rubbing oil with positive results.

"It's a law that's antiquated", she said of the state's medical marijuana rules. "We have to fight for her right to go to school, her right to have medicine there, just like the next kid has insulin and an Epipen and Tylenol". However, the agreement will allow her to return to school next Tuesday.

Kriha credited Ashley's family for pressing her case and the state's attorney general's office for showing flexibility.

The state attorney general's office set out their position at a brief court hearing two days after Ashley's parents filed a federal lawsuit against IL and the Schaumburg School District 54 after the district said it could not allow the child to wear a medical cannabis patch or use cannabis oil drops prescribed by her physicians.

Her parents say it treats the epilepsy she developed after undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia.

The lawsuit points out the patch is occasionally ineffective in controlling her seizures. "And now she can think clearer and she's more alert".

While medical marijuana is legal in IL, it is against the law for students to use it in school or have school nurses administer it. However, it did not take long for the Illinois Attorney General's office to assure the school district that it could assist Ashley's medical needs without penalty. "What we are all hoping is that this is merely a legislative oversight, perhaps at time the law was passed the legislature didn't contemplate young children in school may be prescribed and may need marijuana", said Steve Glink, the Surin family's attorney.

The girl's parents said the state's ban on taking the drug at school was unconstitutional violation of both "due process" and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

School officials, the attorney filing the lawsuit and national marijuana activists and opponents interviewed for this story did not know of any previous similar court case, meaning this lawsuit could set legal precedent.

Over several months, she received extensive chemotherapy to treat leukemia.

At least one other state has addressed the issue legislatively. The law prohibits smoking the drug in school, but allows patches or tinctures, as long as it's not disruptive to classrooms.

Friday marked a victory in a suburban couple's battle to allow their 11-year-old daughter to take medical marijuana at school. Jack, who had cerebral palsy, died in 2016. Seizures and traditional medications can be so debilitating to children that marijuana's side effects are far less unsafe, he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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