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Sometimes, it’s not just a bill

Monday, May 21, 2018

* From this past January

Illinois on Friday said it won’t get in the way of an 11-year-old girl whose parents want her to be allowed to use medical marijuana at school to regulate seizures, despite state laws that prohibit the use of prescription cannabis on public school grounds. […]

[Ashley Surin] has suffered from seizures for years. She was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 2, and subsequent chemotherapy triggered debilitating seizures and brain trauma that she continues to experience as an adolescent, said her father Jim Surin. For months last year, Ashley had to use a wheelchair after hitting her head during a particularly bad seizure.

Traditional medicines had limited success in helping Ashley with the seizures — she would suffer one to three seizures per day. Late last year, a physician prescribed a ketogenic (high fat, low carbohydrate) diet and medical marijuana for Ashley — what her parents say is proving to be a “golden cure.”

Legislation was introduced this year to protect Ashley and people like her. It passed the House 99-1 and cleared the Senate last week 50-2.

* From the Tribune

Ashley has been wearing a patch and using lotion containing cannabidiol, or CBD oil, with a small amount of THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, since December. It does not get her high, but has eliminated her seizures, her parents said.

“We feel like we’re watching a miracle happen,” Maureen Surin said. “She thinks better, she talks better. She used to do one- and two-word sentences. Now she speaks in run-on sentences. Her life has been given back to her.”

Illinois law allows children under 18 to take medical marijuana if two doctors certify that they have a medical condition that qualifies. But the new proposal would change current law, which prohibits possessing marijuana on school grounds.

* I have a regular feature on this blog called “It’s just a bill.” But, sometimes, legislation can be absolutely life-changing. Ashley and her parents were in the Senate gallery when the bill passed and their reaction speaks louder than a million blog posts ever could

Gov. Rauner is not a marijuana fan, but I hope he watches that video clip before he decides what to do about this legislation. Frankly, everyone should watch it.

The full Senate floor debate is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    You’d hope that nearly unanimous votes in both the House and Senate would persuade Rauner to sate his Reefer Madness jones elsewhere.

    If he really needs to scratch that itch, maybe Rauner could personally put some med-mar apps on the shelf to gather dust, as his peeps are regularly doing now.

  2. - Yiddishcowboy - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Beautiful. The power of parents’ love and sheer, unapologetic determination!

  3. - JS Mill - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    As a school administrator I am completely in support of med marijuana and legalization for recreational use for adults.

    As for Ashley, this is medicine just like any other medication that helps someone. This should be a no-brainer.

  4. - A guy - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Oh, the problems this could cure, including the epileptic seizures so many suffer with. Med Mar is the answer for them. It’s beyond cruel to restrict it. With everything happening in schools these days, it would seem this would have a very pronounced calming factor for the students who could legitimately benefit. Maybe a few others too.

  5. - Blago's Hare - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    I happened to be testifying in front of the same committee as this family about 3 months ago. I am not a fan of leagalized pot, but listening to their story changed my mind about medical use and has softened the argument for recreational use that takes place in my head whenever I try to think openly about the matter. They were convincing, articulate, and loving in their testimony about how MM has helped their family. So much so that I am now ok with medical usage. I am still torn on recreational usage, however.

  6. - Jocko - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    If this doesn’t cure Bruce and Nariv Shah’s reefer madness…nothing will.

  7. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    ===Gov. Rauner is not a marijuana fan, but I hope he watches that video clip before he decides what to do about this legislation.===

    I’m not convinced he possesses the empathy or compassion for this video to make a difference in his decision.

  8. - Ahoy! - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    –Gov. Rauner is not a marijuana fan–

    Hopefully he and everyone else can distinguish between medical and recreational use. I might be fore decriminalizing marijuana (and maybe even legalization) but I understand the argument against this. I might not agree with it, but I understand it.

    I do not understand the argument against using medical marijuana, to me that is inhumane to deny people something that will help them because of some weird ideology.

  9. - DuPage Saint - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    What were the reasons for the no vote?

  10. - Ali Nagib - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    @DS: A lack of understanding of how the current Pilot Program works and how this new bill would amend it. Also not understanding how THC and CBD interact and that even in high-CBD products intended for minor patients, small amounts of THC are still needed to achieve the necessary therapeutic effects.

  11. - Mama - Monday, May 21, 18 @ 5:39 pm:

    Legalizing marijuana for medical use is a whole different ball game than using marijuana for fun.

    The Feds need to allow marijuana to be used for medical treatments.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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