After Genny Barbour was prescribed cannabis oil by her doctor, her severe seizures — which had affected her several times a day — disappeared. Like many other children with epilepsy or other seizure conditions, Barbour was an example of a patient who benefited significantly from medical marijuana.

But Barbour’s parents are now fighting her school district in New Jersey to allow the 16-year-old girl — who has both autism and epilepsy — to take her cannabis oil prescription in school. While Barbour needs to take the oil several times a day, including once around lunchtime at noon, she is barred from taking it on school grounds because it violates federal laws for “drug-free school zones.”

Roger and Lora Barbour, however, believe that the law should skirt these particular instances. In a legal battle unlike any other yet in the U.S., the Barbours are suing the school district to pave the way for their daughter — and other children like her — to be able to live relatively normal lives using medical marijuana.

“To me, it’s a prescription,” Lora Barbour told “To me, it’s an order from a doctor that gave my daughter a prescription to have medicine at school.”

While a doctor’s note typically gives you a free card to miss school or take certain medications, with medical marijuana, it’s complicated. New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act allows certain qualified patients like Barbour to be prescribed cannabis oil; but the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Substance I drug (next to LSD, mescaline, and heroin) that has no medicinal value. As a result, taking cannabis oil outside of state lines or in school districts is still considered illegal.

“She could have Valium or oxycodone, but no medical marijuana,” Roger Barbour told, making reference to drugs that are highly addictive and are abused across the country. “Other children can take their medicine. My daughter cannot. My daughter is a citizen of this state, and this is a violation of her state and federal constitutional rights.”

Her parents started noticing a problem when Genny would arrive at school after taking one dose of her medicine (a drop of cannabis oil in a glass of cola) feeling stable and happy, but would come home in the afternoon irritable and more susceptible to seizures. Originally, they gave her three doses a day: once before school, once after school, and once before bedtime. However, Genny’s doctor decided to add a fourth time — around lunchtime at noon — to prevent any afternoon seizures. The school would allow her parents to take her off school grounds to give her the dose, but they won’t allow her to take it during lunch at school.

Until the federal law changes, Genny won’t be able to take her noontime dose at school. But perhaps her story will be just the beginning of a slew of parents who will fight to have their epileptic children be able to take cannabis oil in school.