Court allows THC treatment at school for 5-year-old with rare epilepsy
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - Five-year-old Brooke Adams of Santa Rosa is attending school under a temporary court order.
Brooke has a rare form of epilepsy called dravay. She needs THC, the key ingredient of cannabis, to treat her strong seizures, But cannabis is banned by law from school campuses.
"It's life saving. Many kids with dravay can have long seizures and go into a coma. That's how dramatic this can be," said Jana Adams, Brooke's mother.
Brooke's seizures are treated by paling a few drops of THC into Brooke's mouth. The seizures stop in minutes.
"It's like your body is running a marathon in minutes," said Adams.
Brooke can't be in school without the THC oil close by.
But the Rincon Valley Union School District worries that allowing a banned drug in class could jeopardize millions of dollars in federal funds.
In a statement, the district says the courts need to clarify whether a school district is allowed "...to place a student on a school campus and administer her medical cannabis in that setting despite legal requirements to keep that same medical cannabis off school campuses."
"I don't think the federal government would come in and take us all to jail or lose their funding because one kid is taking medicine that saves her life," said Adams.
An administrative law judge ruled last month, Brooke and her THC oil can attend school for now, pending a final ruling. Currently, the young girl has a full-time nurse at school who carries the medication.
Brooke and her mom hopes she doesn't have to leave school.
"That would be devastating. I hope the judge realizes how insignificant it is to have the medication on campus," said Adams.
The attorneys on either side have about two weeks to submit their final arguments. The administrative law judge is expected to decide, perhaps by next month, whether Brooke can stay in school with her medication.