Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Illinois Senate votes to allow medical marijuana in school

On May 17, the Illinois Senate passed a bill that would allow sick students to use medical marijuana while attending school. The bill, which passed by a vote of 50-2, has been forwarded to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approval. It isn't yet known if he will sign it.

The bill, which is called Ashley's Law, was named after a 12-year-old girl who is prescribed medical marijuana to control epilepsy, which she developed after undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. Ashley wears a patch and uses a lotion that contains cannabidiol. The small amount of THC present in her medication controls her seizures, but it does not get her high. Still, her parents had to file a federal lawsuit against her school before it would allow her to take her medication while attending classes.

Current state law prohibits the possession of marijuana on school grounds, but Ashley's Law would allow children with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana at school. School staff would not be required to administer the drug. Instead, parents, guardians or caregivers could come to a school and administer the drug in the form of drops or oils. The bill passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 99-1 in April.

While Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2014, the drug is still illegal to possess under federal law. Individuals who are charged with possessing medical or recreational marijuana could help their situation by contacting a criminal defense attorney as quickly as they can. An attorney could evaluate the case and recommend the best strategy to use.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Illinois lawmakers vote to let kids take medical marijuana in school", Robert McCoppin, May 21, 2018

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