Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed a new bill into law that allows students to receive legally prescribed medical marijuana at school, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. House Bill 4870 (HB4870) makes several adjustments to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (the Act).
This bill is also referred to as “Ashley’s Law,” named after a 12-year-old student from Schaumburg. Despite receiving a valid medical marijuana prescription to treat leukemia-related epileptic seizures, Ashley was not allowed to use her medicine at school.
In response, Ashley’s parents sued the state of Illinois and the local school district. After several months in the court system, a federal judge ultimately decided that Ashley had a right to use her legally prescribed medicine at school.
State Representative Lou Lang then introduced HB4870 in February 2018 to amend medical marijuana laws across the state. There was broad, bipartisan support for Ashley’s Law across the Illinois General Assembly. The House passed HB4870 with a 99-1 vote in April 2018. The Senate followed suit a month later with a 50-2 vote.
What is Ashley’s Law?
Ashley’s Law requires school districts, public schools, charter schools and other nonpublic schools to authorize the use of medical marijuana on school grounds or buses. In general terms, a parent or guardian may administer medical marijuana to a qualifying student under certain conditions.
Specifically, Ashley’s Law requires the following conditions:
- The student must be a registered qualifying patient;
- The parent or guardian must be a registered designated caregiver;
- Both the student and parent or guardian must have valid registry identification cards;
- The medicine must be a medical cannabis-infused product;
- The parent or guardian must remove the medical product from the school grounds or bus immediately after administration;
- The parent or guardian may not administer the medical product in such a way that causes disruption to the school environment; and
- The parent or guardian may not expose other students to the medical product.
If the student and parent or guardian meet all of the conditions above, then Ashley’s Law enables the use of medical marijuana at school. Furthermore, the school administration is not allowed to punish the student for using the medicine on the grounds or buses.
That being said, Ashley’s law does not require teachers or other school staff to administer medical marijuana. Additionally, there is an exception concerning federal funding. Schools are not allowed to implement Ashley’s Law if doing so will result in a loss of federal funding.
Do You Need Legal Help?
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(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)