On Friday, the state's Attorney General Office assured the Surins and the Schaumburg, Illinois School District 54 that Ashley could use medical marijuana without fear of prosecution. Seizures and traditional medications can be so debilitating to children that marijuana's side effects are far less unsafe, he said.
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.
Tom Iopollo, an assistant attorney general for the state, assured attorneys for the suburban Chicago school district and the parents of Ashley Surin that IL would not prosecute the child or any school officials who may administer medical cannabis products to Ashley.
Her parents had tried everything to help their 11-year-old daughter. The family said Ashley is now being prescribed medical marijuana.
"The law hasn't caught up with the medicine", Ashley's mother says. Late a year ago, a physician prescribed a ketogenic (high fat, low carbohydrate) diet and medical marijuana for Ashley - what her parents say is proving to be a "golden cure".
The Chicago Tribune reports plaintiffs of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, who are identified by initials, contend the state's ban on taking the drug at school is unconstitutional. Sometimes she uses "cannabis oil drops" on her tongue or wrists.
"We do also share the same concerns and care about (A.S.) and her family in this situation", he said. "It's not a drug. She can interact, and can go back to school and learn and not be in a cloud". "It hasn't caught up with reality".
District 54 Superintendent Andy DuRoss told The Chicago Tribune school officials are just following state law, which prohibits them from allowing pot on school grounds. They say it denies the right to due process and violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In the month since she began using a cannabis patch, she has only suffered one major seizure, he father said. "She's more energetic. She speaks in longer sentences". The attorney for Ashley's school district says this decision could help other students.
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.
"The school would like to see a legislative change so that not just Ashley could benefit from this today, but other students can", said school district attorney Darcy Kriha.
Traditional treatments have failed to curtail the seizures, but a year ago doctors prescribed A.S.as cannabis patch.