In recent years, medical marijuana has come to the forefront as an issue in the United States, especially children’s use of it. The cannabinoids in marijuana have been found to contain many healing properties, helpful in the treatment of various afflictions. One of the 20+ states where medical marijuana is legal is New Jersey, however, a Maple Shade family, the Barbours, is embroiled in a legal dispute with their daughter, Genny’s school. Recently, Lora and Roger Barbour lost an appeal to give Genny her cannabis oil treatment at school.
Genny Barbour suffers from epileptic seizures. Roger Barbour, an attorney who represented his family, claims that his daughter is only experiencing seizures once every five days after starting her marijuana oil treatment 13 months ago. The treatment has been a lot more effective than traditional medications/therapies. Roger and wife, Lora, have sued the Larc School in the Maple Shade School District to require the school’s nurse to administer the oil to their 16-year-old daughter. Since April, Genny has only attended schools for half-days, so she can go home to for a lunch time dose of cannabis oil diluted by soda.
However, a judge ruled that the nurse cannot legally give the child her treatment because the action would violate state law banning drug use in school zones and federal law that prohibits marijuana altogether, regardless of New Jersey’s medical marijuana laws. These same laws deny Lora Barbour the right to bring cannabis oil to the school to give it to her daughter herself, even though state Administrative Law Judge John S. Kennedy stated in his August ruling that Lora, “has the ability to assert an affirmative defense against charges of possession or distribution of medical marijuana. . .even on school grounds.”
This is the third time the Barbours have lost this case in court. The judge acknowledged that Genny having to leave school for 2 1/2 hours every day is an impediment to her education, but still ruled against them. The judge leaned on the fact that there is no legal precedent for medical marijuana use in schools. NJ.com reports the Kennedy as saying:
“In fact, there has been no case reported in any state that specifically addresses the use and possession of medical marijuana in schools,” according to Kennedy’s decision. Roger Barbour “has not established a likelihood of success,” the judge said.
The Barbours and other advocates of medical marijuana are still waiting to hear whether pending federal legislation is passed which will legalize medical cannabis. Read about that here.