A new ruling by an Illinois judge may pave the way for a new policy in schools nationwide. The ruling allows an 11-year-old girl in Illinois to use medical marijuana while at school.
In Illinois, medical marijuana is legal, but it is against the current law for students to use it in school or have school nurses administer it. After this ruling, Ashley Surin is the sole exemption to the law after a judge ruled in her favor allowing her to use medical marijuana while at school.
Surin overcame a bout with leukemia at just 2-years-old but the fight for her live and extensive chemotherapy treatments left her suffering from semi-regular seizures. Surin's mother, Maureen Surin, said that since her daughter began using medical marijuana, her seizures have lessened immensely.
"We're amazed at her progress," Surin told NPR. Ashley's 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 medical marijuana at school violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Friday, a judge ruled in the Surin family's favor after hearing the school district voice their concerns over legal repercussions school employees may face for helping Ashley with her medications.
"What people seem to misunderstand here is that medical marijuana is a prescription like any other drug. Prohibiting it in school would be the same as prohibiting other medications such as Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta," Glink said.
School District 54's lawyers and the attorney general's office will meet back in court next week to work on a long-term plan for allowing Ashley to take her medication while at school.
"Ashley cannot wait to return to school. Now, that will happen on Tuesday," Glink said.
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