A medical marijuana patch on a patient’s arm. Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, but an 11-year-old girl who uses it to combat seizures had to get court approval to use it in school. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption
toggle caption David Zalubowski/AP
In a decision that may have sweeping effects, a judge has allowed an 11-year-old Illinois girl to use medical marijuana at school.
Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, and it is against current law for students to use it in school or have school nurses administer it. Now, Ashley Surin is the sole exemption. She overcame a leukemia diagnosis at 2 years old with extensive chemotherapy, but some of her treatments eventually led to having semi regular seizures. Her mother, Maureen Surin, told NPR that since starting medical marijuana treatment, her seizures have immensely declined in number. “We’re amazed with her progress,” Surin said.
Her parents filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday against Schaumburg School District 54 and the State of Illinois, claiming that the state’s ban on taking the drug at school violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). On Friday, a judge ruled in their favor after hearing from the school district, which reportedly had concerns that its employees may be subject to legal penalties for helping Ashley with her medications.