A girl was let back into the school she loves in Schaumburg, Illinois, last week, but only after a federal judge said it was alright for her to bring the prescribed with her. 11-year-old Ashley Surin wasn’t allowed to attend school because of the medical marijuana patches and cannabis oil/lotions she would use to control her seizures.
Ashley was a toddler when she was diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia back in December of 2008. Ashley’s doctors gave her several rounds of chemotherapy and spinal injections to fight the cancer. The treatment sent her cancer into remission, but one of the spinal injections triggered seizures. She’s been weakened by seizures since the age of 2, and remained on a number of medications with several serious side effects. The prescribed medications helped, but they weren’t a cure.
Her father stated that her health deteriorated and Ashley was not herself. The medicine left her with extreme mood swings, memory loss and limited energy — and still had seizures.
When doctors wanted to try a 4th drug last August, Jim Surin, agreed to find another doctor and found one who suggested a change in diet and cannabis would be a better alternative. The Surins got their medical marijuana license in December.
With the prescription Ashley gets a patch that looks like a small bandage on her foot twice a day. Rub lotion on her wrist from a tube that looks like lip balm & if she does have a seizure, she gets a small drop of oil on her tongue. To the family, the patch and the oil seemed simple and straight forward.
It’s the cannabidiol (CBD) in the plant that keeps seizures at bay, not tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC — the marijuana drug that gets people high. But the law in Illinois, at least when it comes to schools, doesn’t allow even the prescription version at school.
“Unlike a diabetic child who needs help from an adult at school to administer insulin, a nurse or teacher could lose his or her license if they helped Ashley with her prescription. And if Ashley wore her patch to school, she or her parents could technically face criminal prosecution. Marijuana of any kind, including medical, is not allowed on school grounds, school buses or at school-related events.” stated CNN.
While sympathetic, and a criminal prosecution would be unlikely, the district said it felt it had to follow the law the way it was written, which meant Ashley’s parents would have to keep her out of class or take the school to court. In the mean time, she had to stay out of school, missing a couple of weeks of class.
The Illinois attorney general agreed not to prosecute and said there should be no negative legal ramifications for staff who help Ashley with the medicine. The federal judge issued an emergency order to allow Ashley to go back to school.
The parents sued Schaumburg School District 54 early this year & just recently the Illinois attorney general agreed not to prosecute and said there should be no negative legal ramifications for staff who help Ashley with the medicine. The federal judge issued an emergency order to allow Ashley to go back to school.
“The two together are a golden cure for her,” mother, Maureen Surin, said through tears after an emergency hearing in Chicago earlier this month. “She can think better, walk better, talk better. Her brain used to be like in a cloud. Now she can think better and is more alert and she can interact.”
“They’ve changed Ashley’s life today and they may have also changed the lives for other children for the better,” district superintendent & school board president Kriha said. It’s believed this is the first case of its kind & could potentially impact other schools and the way in which they deal with children who have prescriptions for medical marijuana.
Source : CNN