An 11-year-old girl in Illinois who was suffering from seizures and taking cannabis was kicked out of school, but a judge ruled in her favor.
Back when Ashley Surin was just a toddler, she was diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and some complications from her treatment caused her to develop seizures. Medical marijuana changed her life, allowing her to lead a normal one at age 11, but a school district decided to kick her out despite her condition.
However, a federal judge has since ruled in her favor, and much to the school’s chagrin she has been allowed back in school. The emergency order allows Ashley Surin to get back to class immediately, where she will try to make up for lost time as she spent weeks falling behind her classmates.
Ashley takes a medical marijuana patch as well as cannabis oil to prevent her debilitating seizures, which once got so bad that she smacked her head on the floor, requiring a hospitalization. But despite her condition, the school opted to kick her out, and while this ruling does not establish a precedent in Illinois, it provides hope to many similar children with this condition.
She had a warm welcome back to school from her classmates, according to her parents.
“There were about a dozen people there to welcome her, everyone from her aids and teachers to the principal and assistant superintendent. They were amazing and super supportive,” her father Jim Surin said according to a CNN report. “I hope that we can help the state change the law to not only let our daughter get the medicine she needs, but that other students will be helped as well.”
“Evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical studies from a number of years ago suggest that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, could potentially be helpful in controlling seizures,” according to the Epilepsy Foundation. “Conducting studies can be difficult as researchers have limited access to marijuana due to federal regulations and even more limited access to cannabidiol; there are also increased financial and time constraints.”