An 11-year-old girl diagnosed with leukemia is now back attending her classes in Schaumburg, Illinois, after a federal judge ruled that she can bring her prescription medication with her.
Medical Marijuana And Special Diet
Ashley Surin, who is suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), was earlier prohibited from attending her class because of her treatment that prescribes use of medical marijuana. The girl wears medical marijuana patch as well as use cannabis lotion and oil for her seizures.
Ashley was diagnosed of her illness when she was still a toddler. The child has been suffering from debilitating seizures and other side effects from her medications such as memory loss, mood swings, and limited energy.
A doctor eventually suggested that the Surins change their child's diet and prescribed cannabis. The Surins got their medical marijuana in December.
"The two together are a golden cure for her," Ashley's mother, Maureen Surin, said. "She can think better, walk better, talk better."
The Surins said that the medical marijuana and the special diet worked wonders to Ashley's health, but the treatment caused problems.
Not Allowed To Attend Class
Although medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, students are not allowed to use it in school or have the school nurses administer it. Ashley's school said she cannot attend her classes with a prescribed marijuana patch and a cannabis lotion. Anyone helping the child with her prescription can also lose their license or job.
"What people seem to misunderstand here is that medical marijuana is a prescription like any other drug," said Surins' lawyer, Steven Glink. "Prohibiting it in school would be the same as prohibiting other medications such as Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta."
Ashley's parents decided to file a lawsuit in federal court against Schaumburg School District 54 and the State of Illinois. The claimed that the ban on taking the drug at school is a violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The judge ruled in their favor and issued an emergency order to allow Ashley to go back to school. The Illinois attorney general also said that staff who help Ashley with her medication should not face negative legal ramifications.
The case can potentially influence how other schools deal with children prescribed with medical marijuana.
"I hope that we can help the state change the law to not only let our daughter get the medicine she needs but that other students will be helped as well," Jim Surin said.