Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Students to Use Medical Marijuana at School

In an overwhelming 149 to 3 vote, Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow students who are medical marijuana patients to use their medicine on school premises.

House Bill 4870, filed by Representative Louis Lang along with nine other lawmakers, is known as Ashley’s Law. Named after Ashley Surin, a 12-year-old who uses medical marijuana to treat the epilepsy she developed during chemotherapy, passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 50 to 2. This comes roughly a month after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 99 to 1.

Having  passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, House Bill 4870 will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration. The proposed law amends the School Code to require “a school district, public school, charter school, or nonpublic school to authorize a parent or guardian of a student who is a qualifying patient to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus if both the student (as a qualifying patient) and the parent or guardian (as a designated caregiver) have been issued registry identification cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

The measure  “Provides that a parent or guardian may not administer a medical cannabis infused product if the administration would create disruption to the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students”, and “Provides that nothing in the provision requires a member of the school’s staff to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student.”

An amendment  passed by the House states:

Provides that the provision may be referred to as Ashley’s Law. Defines terms. Provides that, in addition to the parent or guardian of a student who is a registered qualifying patient, an individual registered with the Department of Public Health as a designated caregiver may administer a medical cannabis infused product to that student. Makes conforming changes. Provides that a parent or guardian or other individual may not administer a medical cannabis infused product in a manner that, in the opinion of the school district or school, would create a disruption to the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students (rather than prohibiting any administration that would create a disruption or cause exposure). Makes other changes concerning restrictions.

The full text of the measure, which would take effect immediately after being signed by Governor Rauner (or allowed to become law without his signature), can be found by clicking here.

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