11-year-old girl allowed to use medical marijuana at school


Her parents, Jim and Maureen Surin, filed a lawsuit in federal court against Schaumburg School District 54 and the State of IL to allow Ashley to use cannabis in school to treat her seizures.

The state does have a medical marijuana law, but it bars cannabis on school property.

But her parents say School District 54, located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, is denying the girl the opportunity "to enjoy the full benefits" of her education, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The district even requested that school officials be allowed to administer the marijuana treatments but state officials reiterated that medical marijuana is not permitted on school grounds.

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Parents Jim and Maureen Surin said after the hearing that they were relieved and excited by the ruling because marijuana has been so beneficial for their daughter Ashley. They hope she continues to improve as she is weaned off the other medications and as she gets back to school. The lawsuit argues that the policy violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday.

The girl, identified as A.S.in the lawsuit, has seizures and suffers from epilepsy after going through chemotherapy treatments.

Glink said that the IL case is somewhat analogous to a situation in Colorado, where a public school student successfully lobbied the state legislature to amend Colorado's medical marijuana law to permit its use in states school. That is when the girl uses cannabis oil drops with small amounts of THC on her tongue or wrists to regulate her epilepsy.

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The lawsuit points out the patch is occasionally ineffective in controlling her seizures.

Although she is now leukemia-free, the medicinal marijuana is meant to treat her seizures. The Surin's said Ashley has improved dramatically since she has been getting the medical marijuana treatments.

Lawyers for the school district and Attorney General's Office are expected to meet back in court next week to work on a longer-term approval plan for Ashley and the school.

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