LOS ANGELES, CA – January 3, 2023 – In a shocking turn of events, Steven Young, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, has been ousted from an Illinois college solely because of his medical cannabis prescription. Steven, who served in Iraq and was subsequently declared 100% disabled by the Veterans Administration, suffers from debilitating “night terrors” that severely disrupt his daily life. Despite possessing a valid medical cannabis card issued by the state of Illinois, the college authorities decided to expel him from the physical therapy program, raising grave concerns about disability discrimination and the rights of medical cannabis patients.
To manage the distressing symptoms of his night terrors, which include intense fear, screaming, and uncontrollable movements during sleep, Steven relies on cannabis as a reliable remedy. Conventional medications have proven ineffective in treating his condition. Cannabis, however, acts as a powerful antidote, effectively curbing the night terrors and allowing him to sleep peacefully and function normally. Nevertheless, despite having a legitimate medical cannabis prescription recognized by the state of Illinois, the college chose to dismiss him from the practical training phase after his drug test returned positive for cannabis. Interestingly, another student who tested positive for Ritalin, an amphetamine, was permitted to continue the program upon presenting a valid doctor’s prescription.
It is crucial to note that Steven’s cannabis usage is strictly limited to addressing his night terror episodes and does not impair his ability to function during the day. Despite making an appeal to the college’s dean, his expulsion was upheld, effectively preventing him from completing the practical training and obtaining his physical therapy degree.
Attorney Matthew Pappas, a prominent advocate for medical cannabis patients, expressed his deep concern regarding the college’s decision, emphasizing its potential violation of Steven’s rights. Pappas strongly stated, “The college’s choice to expel Steven solely based on his valid medical cannabis prescription, as recognized under Illinois law, is nothing short of discriminatory, depriving him of a fair opportunity. His condition substantially limits a major aspect of his life, and cannabis is an effective treatment for it.” Pappas intends to take legal action against the school to ensure that Steven can fulfill his practical training, graduate, and ultimately support others who may encounter similar disability discrimination in the future.