Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law, House Bill 4870, requiring public schools to allow parents to administer medical marijuana to children in need while at school, thanks to Elgin Democrat, State Senator Cristina Castro.
The new law allows parents or guardians to administer a “cannabis-infused product” to a student on school property or on a school bus if both parent and child have been cleared to use the product by the Illinois’s medical marijuana law.
House Bill 4870 will help students who suffer from disruptive and debilitating illnesses such as epilepsy, autism, Tourette’s Syndrome and ADHD.
“Children should not have to choose between their medication and their education,” said Senator Cristina Castro in the Chicago Tribune. “Qualified patients have the right to have access to their medicine no matter where they are. I am happy to see this measure signed into law.”
Castro's bipartisan initiative creates "Ashley's Law," named after a 12-year-old student who had to sue to use medical cannabis to treat her epilepsy at school.
Ashley’s family responded with joy.
"With support from the House, Senate and governor's office, we are grateful that Ashley's Law will help many children dependent on medical cannabis attend school in Illinois," said Ashley's family, per the Chicago Tribune. "We want to send a huge heartfelt thank you from our family to Senator Castro, Governor Rauner, Representative Lang, our attorney Steve Glink and our doctors for changing our lives. It's a miracle."
HB 4870 requires all schools, whether charter, public or nonpublic, to authorize a parent or guardian to give their child medical cannabis in school.
The law authorizes a school to prohibit dispensing medicinal cannabis to a student if administrators determine it would create a “disruption to the school’s educational environment” or expose other students to the product.
Parents and caregivers of sick children are celebrating Gov. Rauner’s signing of the bill, which had passed the state House in April and the Senate in May with overwhelming support.