In a decision that may have sweeping effects, a judge has allowed an 11-year-old IL girl to use medical marijuana at school. 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.
The 11-year-old student is being treated for leukemia with chemotherapy. Ashley has been using a medical marijuana foot patch and rubbing oil - with positive results.
"She can think better, walk better, talk better her brain used to be like in a cloud", her mother Maureen Surin said.
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"The parents have told me that the difference between their daughter (before using medical marijuana) and now is like night and day", the family's attorney Steven Glink told USA TODAY.
School district officials said they will administer cannabis to the sixth grader until they get further clarification from the attorney general. There will also be no legal consequences for staff who administer the medicine, WGN reported. The school says she can't bring her treatments to Hanover Highlands Elementary School, according to the suit filed Wednesday in Chicago federal court. "We're amazed with her progress", Surin said.
Friday's decision to allow the girl to take medicinal cannabis at school is an agreement between Judge John Blakey and the attorney general.
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District 54 Superintendent Andy DuRoss said Thursday officials there regularly work with parents to devise care plans to accommodate the needs of students with medical conditions but are prohibited by state law from allowing pot on school grounds.
Ashley has missed several weeks of school, according to her parents.
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.
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The parents, identified in the lawsuit as as J.S. and M.S., say the school is violating the child's rights. However, the state law prohibits use at schools and dictates that school personnel are not required to be caregivers to administer cannabis, and are not immune from prosecution for possession or distribution of the drug.