6th Grade Leukemia Survivor Allowed Medical Cannabis At School

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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Eleven-year-old Ashley Surin was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008 when she was only two years of age, and underwent chemotherapy as part of her treatment. The young girl was able to overcome the disease early on, but the process left her with life-altering side effects.

As a result of the prescription chemo drug, methotrexate, Ashley sustained brain damage and suffers from seizures, which her parents say have lessened with the recent administration of doctor-prescribed medical cannabis in the form of foot patches and rubbing oils.

The Surin family lives in Illinois where, since January 1, 2015, children under the age of eighteen have been eligible to qualify for medical cannabis. Seizure disorders were also added to the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (2014) on the same day.

The family obtained a prescription for Ashley to use marijuana in late 2017, but her use of it proved to be a problem when it came to her education.

While some children are allowed to use cannabis to treat their conditions, it is also against the law for them to use the medication on school property or have it administered to them by nursing staff.

But the Surins claimed that not allowing their daughter to use medical cannabis on school grounds was a violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Constitution.

On Wednesday, January 10, Ashley’s parents filed a suit in federal court against the Schaumberg School District 54 in attempt to gain the right for their daughter to use cannabis at school.

The family’s attorney, Steven Glink told NPR in an interview;

“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 Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta.”

Ultimately, the judge agreed with the Surin family’s arguments and ruled on Friday, January 12 that Ashley be allowed to use medical cannabis at school.

Because the case’s ruling set a precedent for future cannabis patients at schools in the state, school district attorneys and the Illinois attorney general’s office will be returning to court this week to discuss and construct a plan for implementing a long-term policy for students who require medical marijuana.

After New Jersey, Maine, and Colorado, Illinois is now the 4th state where allowances have been made to allow a student to use medical cannabis at school.

Following Friday’s ruling, Ashley is set to return to school on Tuesday.