Exemption granted for girl, 11, to use medical marijuana at Schaumburg school

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Friday marked a victory in a suburban couple's battle to allow their 11-year-old daughter to take medical marijuana at a Schaumburg school. (WLS)

Friday marked a victory in a suburban couple's battle to allow their 11-year-old daughter to take medical marijuana at school. The child suffers from seizures following a battle with leukemia.

Earlier this week, parents of a suburban Chicago elementary school student suffering from leukemia sued a Schaumburg-based school district and the state of Illinois for her to have the right to take medical marijuana at school.

At the Dirksen Federal Building Friday, U.S. District Judge John Blakey granted the school district an exemption to administer medical marijuana to her if necessary.

It was a long way to go to get their daughter medical treatment.

"We have to fight for her right to go to school, her right to have medicine there, just like the next kid has insulin and an Epipen and Tylenol. My daughter has the same rights," said Maureen Surin, the girl's mother.

The Surin's say their now 11-year-old daughter Ashley was diagnosed with leukemia and started having seizures after treatments. A recent prescription for medical marijuana is illegal in some places in Illinois, including her Schaumburg school.

Friday a federal judge ordered Ashley should be allowed to have the medical marijuana as prescribed at school for the seizures.

"What we are all hoping is that this is merely a legislative oversight, perhaps at time the law was passed the legislature didn't contemplate young children in school may be prescribed and may need marijuana," said Steve Glink, the Surin family's attorney.

The attorney for Ashley's school district says this decision could help other students.

"Our firm represents over a hundred school districts in Illinois and the ramifications of this today will be felt throughout the state," said Darcy Kriha, attorney for School District 54.

"I don't think kids should be limited anywhere, if they are taking medicine. There's no logic," said Maureen Surin.

"That's why I think it's mission critical the legislation be revised to reflect the effectiveness of these meds and how it benefits, not just our daughter, but for other students, other kids," said Jim Surin, Ashley's father.

The Surin's said Ashley has improved dramatically since she has been getting the medical marijuana treatments. They hope she continues to improve as she is weaned off the other medications and as she gets back to school.

School district officials said Friday they will administer cannabis to the sixth grader until they get further clarification from the attorney general. An assistant attorney general told Blakey his office would allow the school to administer the drug until his office can figure out how to address the state law.

Another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
educationmedical marijuanaschoolstudentscancerleukemiaSchaumburg
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