Skokie, Illinois – The Illinois House voted, 99-1 to adopt a plan, House Bill 4870, permitting infused medical marijuana – not smoked – to be administered to students by parents in the state’s elementary and secondary schools.
The measure’s sponsor, State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie), says the bill comes on the heels of a lawsuit. Schaumburg School District did not allow the parents of an 11 year old student named Ashley to administer medical marijuana oil under her tongue and did not allow them to change a medical marijuana patch on the school’s grounds due to an existing state law prohibition.
“Ashely has suffered seizures as the result of chemotherapy treatment, which traditional medications have failed to control, but medical marijuana could, and yet, unfortunately, the school district had their hands tied,” said Lang. “This legislation could help parents from across Illinois care for their children with severe medical conditions without having to sue their local school district to do it.”
The legislation requires public and private schools to allow parents and guardians to administer medical marijuana infused products to their children on school grounds or on a school bus, provided that the child has a pre-approved medical marijuana card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Infused products include food, oils, ointments, or other products that are not smoked.
“Before anyone sets their hair on fire about medical marijuana in school, it’s important to understand that tots won’t be toking up in class,” says Lang. “Discreet, private locations in a school will set aside for parents to administer the product and have no impact on anyone else in the building.”
The state’s public health agency and the Illinois State Board of Education support the bill.
Lang also noted that Ashley has now been able to attend school without interruption and fully participate in class.
“Absent the medical marijuana treatment being available, Ashley would have been unlikely to continue in school,” says Lang. “Now, with the infused medical marijuana treatment, she has had few seizures and allowed her to refocus on her studies and resume a normal life as much as possible for an 11 year old girl.”
The bill is now heading to the Senate.