Severely Disabled Student Suspended For Cannabis Medicine
Jaxon Stormes is a student with a severe disability, making life very challenging. He has Dravet’s syndrome, which causes him to have constant seizures, developmental delays, and other disabilities. He tried various treatments and nothing worked until they tried medical marijuana, cannabis. His mother Jennie, a registered nurse, stated the following, according to KKTV Channel 11 News.
“Sixty-two failed drugs, two brain surgeries, three VSN implants, four Ketogenic diet attempt. He no longer had 30-minute to 60-minute-long seizures; he’s having two to three-minute-long seizures max.”
Seven months ago, they moved from New Jersey to Colorado so that Jaxon could have easier access to cannabis. She gives Jaxon his cannabis medicine at home through a syringe or in small green capsules mixed into his food.
Jennie packs his lunch for him in Tupperware containers, and checks the containers to make sure what he brings to school don’t have his medicine in them. One day, she made the mistake of putting two containers in his lunch, and one contained yogurt with capsules of his cannabis medicine.
Around lunch time, Jennie got a call from Sand Creek High School informing her that Jaxon was being suspended for bringing a controlled substance to school. She was in disbelief, as she indicated that Jaxon doesn’t have the ability to form the intent to bring such substances to school, according to the Mighty. He couldn’t go to school for a day and missed some of his usual therapy services he receives in school. Jennie indicated the following, according to KKTV Channel 11 News.
“I was like, ‘You’re kidding me. He didn’t do anything.’ Jax does not have the ability to form that intent. He didn’t make lunch, he didn’t pack lunch. When they started saying ‘No we’re not going to make up speech [therapy], we’re not going to make up OT,’ he does not get those educational minutes back. It’s detrimental to him… This child and any other child that’s on cannabis should not be suspended for this kind of an error.”
Matt Meister, a spokesperson for District 49 that Jaxon attends, stated the following, according to KKTV Channel 11 News.
“Given the policies in District 49, they are always applied equally and consistently to all of our students. We appreciate that our administrators worked consistently and collaboratively with each other to make sure those were followed and our discipline matrix was adhered to.”
Fortunately, for students for whom there is a determination that they need to have a medical marijuana, Colorado lawmakers recently passed a bill that will allow students to use cannabis medicine at school. It cannot be sent to school with the student, and would have to be administered by a school nurse.
The District 49 School Board indicated when that bill is signed into law, they will also begin working on a policy change regarding medical marijuana for next school year. And the Board asked Jennie to help them decide what the new policy should look like. Jennie stated that she’ll be looking forward to working with the Board. Meister indicated the following.
“President Harold in there invited her back this summer as they eventually get the guidance from the Colorado Association of School Boards on that policy. All residents of District 49 are welcome at our school board meetings and have an opportunity to participate in our open forums.”
In another case of a student who requires medical marijuana, her parents are suing the school district. Genny Barbour is a 16-year-old high school student in New Jersey with epilepsy and autism. The Barbours began administering drops of homemade cannabis oil to Genny in the morning, after school, and at bedtime. They said that, in addition to affecting her seizures, Genny became more attentive, gentle, and verbal. The Barbours indicated that Genny is finally seizure free after a doctor prescribed her cannabis.
Roger Barbour, who is an attorney, is suing his daughter’s, Genny’s, New Jersey school district, which won’t allow her to take needed cannabis-oil treatments. The problem? The Maple Shade school district determined she could not take the medication on school grounds because that would violate federal laws for drug-free school zones, according to an article in the Inquisitr.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]