A Colorado teen who helped usher in the use of medical marijuana for students in that state’s schools is being remembered for his smile, his charm and his bravery in the face of debilitating illness.
Jack Splitt died Wednesday at his home in Lakewood, Colorado. He was 15 years old.
Splitt’s mother, Stacey Linn, told the Denver Post that the teen appeared to his younger brother in a dream hours before his death.
“He was standing tall and in a powerful voice told Cooper, ‘Please do not be sad. I am free,” Linn told the newspaper.
Splitt died later that day.
The Post reports that the teen, who had cerebral palsy, started school at Wheat Ridge High School last week. His ability to attend school was helped along by “Jack’s Law,” a state law for which the boy and his mother lobbied hard.
Splitt and his family started fighting for the law in February 2015 after a school employee ripped a skin patch containing his medication, derived from cannabis, off of his arm, The Post reports. Though they later that year helped get a statewide amendment passed that would allow schools to craft policies permitting medical cannabis use on campus, none of the state’s school districts did so.
They returned to the state house this year to ensure that a law was passed to help Splitt and other students who rely on medical marijuana for relief from pain, seizures and other medical issues.
“Jack’s Law,” signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in June, allows parents and caregivers to administer medical marijuana treatment on school campuses. The law allows school officials to decide where on campus the treatment can be delivered, as well as what forms of the drug can be administered.
If a district does not create a policy, there are no restrictions on where the treatment can be delivered.
Medical-marijuana proponents expressed their grief over Splitt's death on social media.
Remembering Jack Splitt: MMJ Jack's Law Namesake Loses Fight for Life (PHOTOS)https://t.co/LbifXfdiwE
— Westword (@DenverWestword) August 26, 2016
Linn is not the only parent who has battled against medical-marijuana bans in efforts to treat an ill child. The Tampa Bay Times this week profiled a couple, Joe and Kristen Yeckley, who snuck marijuana oil from Colorado to Florida in an effort to treat the symptoms and stem the growth of their 5-year-old son’s terminal brain tumor. Tyler Yeckley died last summer and now, more than a year after his death, Florida law allows patients with cancer and seizure disorders access to low-THC medical marijuana.
Florida is one of 25 states that, along with the District of Columbia, allow the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions. Those conditions differ from state to state, as do the limitations and restrictions enforced by each state.
Click here to learn more from the National Conference of Legislatures about the conditions medical marijuana is used for, as well as the restrictions in place in each state that allows its use.
Colorado teen who fought for medical marijuana use in schools dies week after starting high school
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