Aaron Burden

California Court Rules 5-Year-Old Can Bring MMJ to School

A 5-year-old girl in Santa Rosa, California can attend kindergarten and bring a life-saving, cannabis-based medication with her, a California administrative court ruled on Friday, CNN reports.

5-year-old Brooke Adams — who starts kindergarten this year — has Dravet Syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy. The resulting seizures can be dangerous and unpredictable, but Brooke and her caretakers use cannabis oils to manage the condition: CBD oil as a preventative measure and THC oil as an emergency medication in case her seizures get out of control.

Officials with the Rincon Valley School District School had warned that Brooke — who previously attended a private preschool — would not be able to attend public school with her cannabis medication because the district feared losing federal funds due to the school no longer being a “drug and alcohol-free campus.” The school district instead offered one hour of home instruction per day and the continued services of a licensed vocational nurse who assisted with Brooke’s preschooling.

Her parents, however, wanted the social and academic stimulation of a public school for their daughter, and they decided to take the school district to court.

The Friday court ruling found Brooke and her medication — so long as she is accompanied by the district-appointed nurse — to be within the parameters of California’s Compassionate Use Act and the 2003 Medical Marijuana Program Act.

“I was definitely relieved and excited and emotional. It’s life, life saving, life changing. … I’ve had to stay home with Brooke from vacations and different things and now we can go places as a family, you know, … it’s totally different. I know that I have confidence that the THC is going to stop the seizure … I had no idea what the outcome was going to be once she started having a seizure.” — Jana Adams, mother of Brooke Adams, via CNN

Jennifer Nix, the lawyer who represented the school district during Brooke’s case, said, “We are glad to have clarity and we are glad to serve Brooke. We appreciated that the judge addressed each of our concerns.”

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