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New Jersey School Becomes the First to Allow Medical Marijuana

For the first time ever medical marijuana will be allowed at a public school, an autistic New Jersey teenager who suffers from potentially life-threatening epileptic seizures will now be allowed to legally consume edible medical marijuana at her school. However, the parents of the teenager will have to continue their legal battle to ensure the school nurse can actually administer the federally prohibited treatment.

Genny Barbour, a south New Jersey 16-year-old with autism and a deadly type of epilepsy, requires cannabis oil to function, Genny has only been attending half days at The Larc School which serves children with disabilities, she goes home to take the one of four daily doses that fall within school hours. Her family says marijuana is the only medication that works. The Larc School adopted the policy Wednesday after Gov. Chris Christie signed the law allowing it.

“Clearly this has been in discussion for a quite a while and we are happy to accommodate and certainly want to help our families,” “We want the best for Genny. We were not able to do it legally,” said Larc executive director Susan Weiner. “We were hoping [Christie] would sign this and we have been preparing for this to happen.” “We are pleased we are able to help the family.”

An infant when she began suffering from seizures, doctors took out part of Genny’s brain before her third birthday, a failed attempt to control the attacks. A year later, she was diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder. It took ten years before her parents were able to register her with the state medical marijuana program. “We didn’t think it would ever happen. A godsend,” her mother Lora Barbour says. “We had to choose between education and medicine.  We would bring Genny home from school after half a day.  Now she can stay in school and get her medicine.”

 

The Larc school released a statement to parents stating: “Earlier this week Governor Christie, with the help of local legislators, signed a bill regulating medical marijuana for students with developmental disabilities.” The statement goes on to say, “Larc Board of Directors approved a medical marijuana policy for our students and families- the first in the country.”

“I’m still going to have to drive to school and give her her medicine and then drive home, but this time, she’ll stay in school,” Lora Barbour explains. Gene’s medication is prepared in a crock pot by Barbour, it’s not pharmaceutically prepared.  Which is the reason why Lora Barbour has to give the medicine to Genny. New Jersey nursing regulations mandate that medications administered by nurses be pharmaceutically prepared.

“They’re welcoming her with open arms and we are appreciative of that,” Genny’s father Roger Barbour says. For Genny, it means full school days again.

 

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