Rincon Valley Union School District in Sonoma County has temporarily granted a 5- year-old student with Dravet’s Syndrome the freedom to use cannabis at school.
Brooke Adams has a rare form of epilepsy since she was 3.5 months old. People with Dravet’s can have hundreds of seizures a day and some can last three hours.
Even though cannabis is legal in 30 states for medical purposes and recreationally in nine, there are still regulations that state cannabis cannot be consumed near a school. In California, cannabis possession and use is banned within 1,000 feet of a school.
A judge issued a court order allowing Brooke to use cannabis, as administered by a nurse, while on school property. Cannabis is one of the only medications that prevent her, and other people with Dravet’s, from having a seizure. According to Brooke’s mother, Jana Adams, Brooke needs to have THC oil on her at all times.
There are laws in place that require schools to make accommodations for students with disabilities. These can range from wheelchair accessibility, extra time during a test, or a tutor but until now, none of those accommodations have also required a school district to break a federal law.
Cathy Myhers, the assistant superintendent for student services at the Rincon Valley Union School District, said that if the district could lose federal funding if it violates the federal prohibition on having marijuana in public schools.
“If we can’t provide her that rescue medication, we can’t serve her on a public campus,” Myhers said “our hands are tied.”
“Federal and state require the district to assist a student with a disability with taking medication if such medication is necessary so that the student can attend school,” she continued.
Unlike Colorado, New Jersey and Maine, California does not have provisions allowing to use medical cannabis in school. Hopefully, this case will set a precedent allowing children to medicate in school without having to get a judge to court order it.
The judge’s ruling is only temporary and will be officially ruled on in November with a final decision being made.
We are hoping for a ruling in Brooke’s favor and that all children with ailments that cannabis alleviates will be able to use their medication without interference.