The parents of an 11-year-old girl suffering from leukemia are suing a school district and the state of Illinois for not allowing their daughter to take medical marijuana at school.
The young girl, identified in the lawsuit as AS, is prescribed patches of medical marijuana to ease her seizures that were caused by aggressive rounds of chemotherapy.
However the school district will not let her to wear the patch or allow school officials to give her drops of cannabis oil that her parents say have made it bearable for her to attend school and learn.
Now the family is in a battle against the district and the state to prevent this crippling cancer keep her from receiving a proper education.
An 11-year-old girl with leukemia suffers seizures due to years of chemotherapy and her parents are suing the Chicago school district for banning her use of medical marijuana
The family claims that banning their daughter from using medical marijuana at school is unconstitutional and violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As a result of four years of chemotherapy treatments the girl now suffers from epilepsy, according to the lawsuit.
Doctors prescribed her medical marijuana at the end of 2017 to treat the seizures, however Illinois’ medical cannabis law prohibits the use or possession of marijuana on school grounds.
Illinois is one of the 29 states in the US where medical marijuana is legal, however there are strict guidelines regarding its use.
According to the lawsuit, the patch has improved her health along with drops of cannabis oil applied to her tongue or wrists.
‘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.
‘Her ability, her behavior in general, her whole character, her wellness is completely different. She can viably attend school,’ he added.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood that hinders the body’s ability to fight infection and is the most common cancer in children under 15.
Chemotherapy is used to kill the cancer cells but does increase the risk of having seizures.
A 2016 study from New York University found that in 162 patients with epilepsy, marijuana treatments reduced seizures by 36.5 percent and two percent of the patients became completely seizure free.
Medical marijuana is also used to treat pain, nausea and vomiting – common side effects of chemotherapy.
Andy DuRoss, Superintendent of Schaumburg School District 54 said that though officials are concerned for the student’s health, they cannot legally allow the girl to use medical marijuana on school grounds due to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Act.
The family’s lawyer has requested a preliminary order that would allow the girl to immediately go to school with the patch and let school officials administer cannabis oil drops.