Michael Wileniec is a 21-year-old Canadian student living with hereditary multiple exostoses. Each morning he wakes up in excruciating pain due to the benign tumors that grow on bone endings as a result of his condition. Multiple surgeries have interrupted his studies and now school officials say that Michael can no longer medicate with his prescribed medical marijuana while on campus.
Michael was first prescribed to medical marijuana 6 years ago. Since then, Wileniec says his quality of life has improved considerably. Nutana Collegiate (of Saskatchewan) has been allowing Michael to use medical marijuana for two and a half years, but now school officials have changed their decision.
Up until last week, Wileniec had been allowed to consume marijuana outside of the school buildings between classes. His peers and teachers were all aware of his conditions and no one seemed to have a problem with his prescribed medication. Now, a letter from his superintendent is telling Wileniec that he must consume his medication off premises.
In a statement Friday, a spokesperson for the school said that the rules for medical marijuana are no different than any other potentially mind-altering prescriptions. The statement said, “We would be concerned whether anyone – either student or staff – was on school grounds while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether prescription or otherwise.”
Wileniec feels that he has been treated unfairly, citing other students using prescription narcotics on school grounds. Fellow student Xander Nichol agrees, saying “How are you no longer safe because he is medicating with marijuana? We need to acknowledge the medical value, not run from it.”
In the mean time, school authorities say they will work with Wileniec to ensure that he finishes school. They will offer take-home work and open their doors to him when he is not under the influence of medical marijuana.
Photo Credit: Phil Roeder