Earlier this week, parents of a suburban Chicago elementary school student suffering from leukemia sued a Schaumburg-based school district and the state of IL for her to have the right to take medical marijuana at school. Illinois' medical cannabis law prohibits possessing or using marijuana on school grounds or buses.
A federal judge ruling that allows an 11-year-old suffering from leukemia to use medicinal marijuana to treat her illness has ignited a debate about the future of medical marijuana across the nation.
But her parents say School District 54, located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, is denying the girl the opportunity "to enjoy the full benefits" of her education, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. School district officials said Friday they will administer cannabis to the sixth grader until they get further clarification from the attorney general. Her parents said she beat the leukemia, but some of Ashley's chemotherapy treatments eventually led to her having seizures that continue to this day.
Ashley Surin, 11, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two years old. "Her brain used to be like in a cloud, and now she can think clearer and she's more alert", said her mother, Maureen Surin.
"We administered chemotherapy to her for days, weeks, months", said Jim Surin, Ashley Surin's father.More news: England's Jason Roy glad to be back on track after 'tough' 2017
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Under her doctors' recommendations, the girl wears a medical cannabis patch on her foot, which contains small amounts of THC, the component of marijuana that can make users high. The child was recently prescribed medical marijuana by doctors to help her regulate seizures that she's struggled with since she was 2.
Ashley has suffered from seizures for years.
Finally, the girl's uncle, "conservatarian" podcaster Mike Opelka, penned a moving insider piece about his niece's struggle to "use medical marijuana in grammar school".
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday against School District 54 and the state of IL, could have far-reaching implications.
Chicago Tribune's Steve Schmadeke contributed. The attorney for Ashley's school district says this decision could help other students.