Breaking News
More () »

DC Council to vote on permanently allowing medical marijuana use in public schools around the District

12-year-old Zoey Carty from Northwest, DC has fought for months to get medical marijuana use in DC public schools on a permanent basis.

WASHINGTON — In a few weeks, the D.C. Council is poised to vote on marijuana legislation that is currently in effect for schools on a temporary basis. But a sixth-grader from Northwest is lobbying for more permanent legislation from the Council, because it could very well save her life.

The Student Medical Marijuana Patient Fairness Temporary Amendment Act was passed in September, but will go to a full council vote January 7.

With tears in her eyes and clutching her bottle of CBD oil, sixth-grader Zoey Carty is thrilled to finally have a nurse administer her medical marijuana to her Monday at Friendship Ideal Academy.

Zoey's mom, Dawn Lee-Carty says her little girl has suffered more than most have in a lifetime. A rare form of epilepsy meant Zoey would have up to 65 seizures a day. 

Zoey was given two options by doctors: heavy medications or brain surgery. After that, Lee-Carty started researching medical marijuana and hopped on a plane to Colorado to pick up her first bottle of CBD oil for her daughter.

RELATED: DC students can now take prescribed medical marijuana at school

"I couldn't believe it, that she lived eight years up and down," Lee-Carty said.

Zoey uses CBD oil three times a day and an emergency syringe with THC.

THC is the chemical responsible for marijuana's physiological effects.
Lee-Carty and Zoey now grow their own medical marijuana after they say Zoey's seizures decreased by 50% in six months.

For months, Zoey, who is in the 6th grade, lobbied lawmakers to allow nurses in D.C. public schools to administer medical marijuana to students.

Credit: Courtesy of Carty Family

In September, the DC Council unanimously voted yes and enacted emergency legislation to allow any student to use medical marijuana in a non-smokable form if needed for health reasons.

Lee-Carty says one hurdle is that the school will only allow mairjuana from an authorized dispensary, meaning anything home grown is not allowed.

"She's alert, she's thriving, she's happy," Zoey's mother said. "She's actually a little grower herself. How cool is that, that she can sustain her medical cannabis lifestyle."

WUSA9 contacted four nursing associations in the D.C. area. Most did not want to comment, and one association said they had yet to take a position on the matter. 

But in Colorado, where medical marijuana is allowed in schools, reports say reaction has been mixed, with some nurses nervous about the lack of a federal mandate protecting them from distributing the drug.

But for Lee-Carty, medical marijuana is giving her daughter new life -- all from a drop of a bottle.

"I want her to experience summer and winters, palm trees," Lee-Carty said. "I want her to experience things other children have experienced."

RELATED: Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Chevy Chase

RELATED: CDC reveals vape brands most seen in outbreak cases

Download the brand new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Before You Leave, Check This Out