A recent incident that happened in New Jersey Larc School caused major indignation among cannabis activists. A teenage girl, who suffers from autism and epilepsy, was denied the use of prescribed cannabis at school. This prohibition has been indirectly caused by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is known as an avid cannabis opponent.
The Republican has been rather vocal about his dislike of cannabis legalization, saying that profit, received from this industry, is “blood money” and allowing prescription of this drug endangers children. New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is constantly struggling because of the politician’s objections. In an interview on The Hugh Hewitt Show, the governor assured that he would like to change the federal drug laws on this subject.
Despite all evident benefits of the medical cannabis legalization, Christie did not waver in his beliefs and ranked the plant together with heroin and cocaine. It appears that the example of Portugal’s positive experience with decriminalizing all drugs has not changed his mind as well. What did influence him the most, was a sad story of the above mentioned teenage girl, Genny Barbour, suffering from unfairness.
Barbour’s family has been fighting Genny’s severe autism and seizures for a long time. It all started when the girl was only three months old, and, since then, the kid has been living in a nightmare. The teen is almost non-verbal and only the cannabis oil prescribed to her helps Genny in her struggle both at home and school. Besides, cannabis is the only medicine that helps her minimize the severity of epilepsy, so the girl can regularly visit the school. Four doses of the oil a day have drastically improved Genny’s articulation, decreased the number of seizures and made a remarkable progress in studying possible.
An essential rule for her wellbeing is never to miss even one dose as it could worsen her symptoms and even lead to a condition when Genny could easily harm herself. Unfortunately, the family’s relief did not last long—it turned out that the girl was not permitted to use her medicine on the campus grounds. The parents, Roger and Lora, had to take Genny out of school.
The family sued for the right to allow their daughter to use the medicine under supervision of the nurse but was denied the request. Neither school nor the courts could make an exception for her as it would violate the federal law. So, their process continued for months without any result.
Barbours won the war
And then an unexpected thing happened—the governor himself passed a bill that allowed parents to administer edible cannabis on school grounds. Now, the Larc School is the first school that allows medical cannabis consumption. The school’s administration acted immediately when the bill was signed and issued their own decree. The issue has been under discussion for quite a while, and Larc’s board was happy to help the girl and all other children who would be able to attend school.
When the bill was finally signed, Roger Barbour shared the success with thousands of people who were following the girl’s case. The family is thrilled about the new law and the way for Genny to attend school full-time.
For now, the girl is attending school for half-days—her behaviorist still needs time to schedule the lessons and set up a plan to help her comfortably return to social life.
Now, when the school is open for medical cannabis use, it gives the chance for normal life to many children and families. The new bill gave a new hope to kids like Genny whose number is constantly growing. This legislation influences people who suffer various illnesses, not only autism. Medical cannabis is prescribed for epilepsy, diabetes, glaucoma, cancer and chronic pain. All these conditions require a strict schedule of the medication intake, so many children can now follow it even at school.