In the fight for marijuana legalization or even medical marijuana, every little step helps. So when Kentucky lawmakers in the state Senate recently passed a bill that would allow marijuana oil for certain medical conditions, it was seen as definite progress.
According to Takepart.com, the bill has yet to pass the state House of Representatives, but has a good chance there. It is also supported by Gov. Steve Beshear and even the State Police.
The bill essentially allows for a very limited medical use of marijuana, like cannabidiol oil in the treatment of seizure disorders.
Kentucky isn’t the first state to consider such a limited marijuana bill. In Utah, similar legislation cleared lawmakers this month. In Alabama, the Senate has approved a bill allowing the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study the use of marijuana oil in treating seizure disorders.
Cannabidiol oil has been successfully used in the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a debilitating and life-threatening condition. In the case of Charlotte Figi, the first patient to make waves with the breakthrough treatment, the oil helped reduce her seizures from around 300 each day to two or three per month. As such, the strain of CBD is now known as “Charlotte’s Web.”
Parents across the country have waged battles to gain access to CBD for their suffering children. Because it has miniscule amounts of THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana), it doesn’t create the high many people associate with pot. Instead, it only provides pure medical benefits.
One study indicated CBD could also be useful in treating autism spectrum disorders. Characterized by social dysfunction, communication problems, and symptomatic verbal and nonverbal behaviors, autism spectrum disorders are being diagnosed at an alarming rate among children.
The study, published in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorder said autistic children in particular could benefit from CBD because they actually have an increased number of cannabis receptors.
In some states, not ready to formally allow children access to anything derived from cannabis, parents have begun moving in search of more permissive states. Kentucky is hoping to help these families before they lose them.
Rita Wooten, mother to a toddler plagued by seizures testified before the state Senate Health and Welfare Committee last month. For her son, who has thousands of seizures each week, the 14 prescription drugs they’ve tried have been ineffective.
“You don’t know what it’s like until you take my son home with you,” she said. “I’m not looking for sympathy, or even empathy. We’re looking for help.”