Illinois Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis At School

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner added his signature to HB4870 on Wednesday, allowing children who rely on medicinal cannabis to be able to have it administered to them at school or on a school bus.

In Illinois, individuals who are under the age of eighteen and have qualifying conditions may use medical marijuana if they obtain certification from two physicians. There are around 37,000 patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, about 279 of those are school-aged.

But only one child has been able to use medicinal cannabis at school in Illinois until now, and her parents had to resort to a lawsuit earlier this year to make it happen.

The Illinois legislature passed HB4870, also known as Ashley’s Law, in May with a 50 to 2 vote. The bipartisan measure was named for twelve-year-old Ashley Surin who developed epilepsy from the chemotherapy drug methotrexate which was being used to treat the young girl’s leukemia at an early age.

Ashley’s parents had successfully sued the Schaumberg School District in January, allowing her to use her medicinal cannabis products, which are in the form of lotions and patches containing cannabidiol (CBD), while on campus.

According to the text of HB4870, if the administration determines that a student’s medicinal cannabis would create a disruption on campus or expose other students to the product, they may bar parents and guardians from giving it to the child at school.

Illinois now joins other states like New Jersey and Colorado with compassionate use acts allowing children to have their medical cannabis administered to them at school.