Wisconsin: Law Allowing Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil For Seizures Remains Unusable


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two months after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into a law a measure allowing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a marijuana derivative used to quell seizures without getting patients high, nobody has yet been able to access the medicine.

The bad situation is due at least in part because of obstacles foolishly written into the legislation at the last minute, reports Dana Ferguson at the Journal Sentinel.

"It is frustrating," said Amylynne Santiago Volker of the roadblocks between her nine-year-old son, Nicholas, and the experimental treatment. "It's there in paper, but we can't access it."

Unfortunately, Wisconsin's "CBD-only" law appears as useless as most of the rest passed recently by state legislatures who want to be seen as "doing something" in the face of overwhelming popular support for medicinal cannabis, without having the courage to pass an actual medical marijuana law which could help actual patients.

Gov. Walker on Friday told reporters he "wasn't sure" if his administration could do anything to free up access to CBD, but if more could be done through state legislation, Walker claimed he was "committed to working with lawmakers" to do so.

California: Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Offer Free Seizure Medication For Kids


Two Northern California medical marijuana dispensaries have announced they will be giving away free high-CBD tincture medication for children suffering from seizure disorders.

In the wake of the recent death of 6-year old Charlee Nelson in Utah after she was denied cannabis extract known to help control seizures caused by a neurological disorder, Dave Spradlin, co-director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland and River City Phoenix in Sacramento, has announced that he will provide for free the expensive extract to any patients with a similar ailment.

The medicine is a scientifically produced liquid made from marijuana plants and used to treat people with severe seizure disorders. The tincture is rich in a chemical called cannabidiol, or CBD, but low in THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that is known to possess a wide range of therapeutic benefits. It has proven to be especially effective in the treatment of seizures brought on by neurological conditions such as Batten disease, which was blamed in the death of Charlee Nelson.

“People are really suffering and this product has been known to cut seizures from hundreds a day to just a few a week or none at all,” said Spradlin.

Many in the medical community feel this is an effective alternative to conventional pharmaceuticals and can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life.

Pennsylvania: GOP Lawmakers Balk On CBD-Only Medical Marijuana Bill


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Parents in Pennsylvania who want to treat their children's seizures with a marijuana derivative were hopeful after Governor Tom Corbett announced last month he could support a medical study of cannabidiol (CBD). But the program can't begin until the state's House Republican majority supports the move -- and timid GOP party leaders are opposing it, despite the fact that legislatures in states as conservative as Alabama and Mississippi have approved similar legislation.

A majority of GOP members of the House still oppose such a study, according to a spokesman,and don't support authorizing Gov. Corbett's plan to allow children with intractable seizures who are not helped by standard therapies to have supervised access to cannabidiol (CBD), a component of marijuana that does not produce a high, reports Karen Langley at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Republican state representatives said they believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- not the states -- should decide what is medicine, according to spokesman Steve Miskin, putting the lie to GOP claims of supporting "states' rights."

"That is where the majority of members of our caucus stand," claimed the apparently cold-hearted Miskin. "They do not believe the state should approve pot -- marijuana -- of any sort. At this moment there are no plans to move any type of legislation to legalize the use of any derivative of marijuana."

Iowa: Governor Will Sign Medical Marijuana CBD Oil Bill Into Law


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said he will sign a bill legalizing the use of cannabidiol oil (CBD oil), a non-psychoactive concentrate derived from marijuana.

Families with kids suffering from epilepsy went to Iowa legislators this year asking for their help, reports KWWL.

At first, Gov. Branstad opposed the plan, claiming he was worried about "unintended consequences" like "drug abuse." The Governor didn't explain how legalizing a substance which doesn't get anyone high would do that.

The Governor claimed he "had empathy" for families who believe CBD helps quell seizures. But he still fretted over signing the bill.

"I think it would be a mistake to look at now expanding it to a whole bunch of other things," Branstad said, reports AP, evidently believing the suffering of epilepsy patients is somehow more deserving of relief than that of patients with other maladies. "I think we need to look at this as a very careful experiment that we and other states like Utah and Alabama are doing and see if it really does have the efficacy that the families hope it has."

Global: Could Cannabis Curb Seizures? Epilepsia Journal Examines Evidence


The therapeutic potential of medical marijuana and pure cannabidiol (CBD), an active substance in the cannabis plant, for neurologic conditions is being debated in the scientific and medical communities -- as well as in the popular press. A series of articles published in the current issue ofEpilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), examines the potential use of medical marijuana and CBD in treating severe forms of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome.

In a case study, Dr. Edward Maa, chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health in Denver, Colorado, details one mother’s experience of providing medical marijuana to her child with Dravet syndrome. The adjunct therapy, with a higher cannabidiol/D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (CBD:THC) ratio in the strain of cannabis, now known as Charlotte's Web, was given in conjunction with the patient’s antiepileptic drug regimen.

The child’s seizure frequency was reduced from 50 convulsions per day to two to three nighttime convulsions per month.

“Colorado is 'ground zero' of the medical marijuana debate,” said Dr. Maa. “As medical professionals it is important that we further the evidence of whether CBD in cannabis is an effective antiepileptic therapy.”

Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

Florida: Governor Says He Would Sign CBD-Only Bill Allowing Marijuana Derivative


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Florida Governor Rick Scott, running for reelection in November, on Thursday said he would sign legislation allowing a non-psychoactive medical marijuana extract low in THC but high in CBD to treat children and other patients suffering from seizures.

Despite his firm opposition to an actual medical marijuana law, Gov. Scott said he would sign the so-called Charlotte's Web bill, which passed the Republican-controlled House with bipartisan support on Thursday, reports Andrew Perez at The Huffington Post.

Charlotte's Web is one of many high-CBD strains of marijuana, but in a development that undoubtedly makes the Stanley Brothers of Colorado very happy (and quite rich), it seems to be the one that gets all the media attention. Ill-informed state lawmakers such as those in Florida who want to appear to care about patients, and of course want to therefore get a lot of votes, know just enough about medical marijuana to have maybe watched Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "Weed" specials, and they learned from it, or from second-hand accounts of the show, that "Charlotte's Web" doesn't get kids stoned and helps quell seizures.

So then they pass restrictive legislation, sometimes even requiring the specific strain, Charlotte's Web, which enriches the Stanley Brothers while leaving out in the cold other high-CBD strains such as Cannatonic and Harlequin.

Wisconsin: Senate To Vote On Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Bill For Children With Seizures


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Wisconsin Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill which would legalize a marijuana byproduct, cannabidiol oil, that doesn't make users high, but may relive seizure disorders in children.

The CBD oil bill falls well short of legislation to legalize medical marijuana, reports Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, legalizing only one cannabinoid from the plant. The Wisconsin Assembly last week approved the CBD bill on a voice vote, sending it to the Senate.

The bill was moved out of the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, where Chairwoman Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) tried to block it from being voted upon because she opposes the legislation. The proposal was instead placed in a committee where it could be scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate's last session on Tuesday, April 1.

The bill would go to the desk of Republican Gov. Scott Walker if passed by the Senate.

Rep. Robb Kahl (D-Monona) sponsored the CBD oil bill after a constituent, Amylynne Volker, told him about her son, Nic, who has about 100 epileptic seizures per day. "God bless them!" Volker said, when she learned the measure is poised to move forward.

Volker said the good news was a great way to celebrate her birthday on Friday. "It's pretty incredible and awesome," she said. "It's almost the best birthday present I could get." She said she already had a doctor in mind if the bill passes.

Illinois: Senate Committee Approves Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana For Children


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois is considering expanding its medical marijuana law to include children suffering from conditions like epilepsy. The Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would legalize such treatment for minors in a 8-0 vote.

"Letters have been sent by so many parents who suffer watching their children have seizures -- and not just one or two seizures: 100, 200, 1,000 seizures a week," said bill sponsor Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), reports Elise Dismer at the Chicago Sun-Times. "This could be a life-saving solution for children suffering from epilepsy."

Nicole Gross said her 8-year-old son, Chase, lost his ability to speak due to his seizures. "Following his dose of the cannabis oil, we started to see one to two seizures in two minutes, and then two minutes seizure free, five minutes seizure free, then eight ... and when we hit 20, I cried," Gross said, reports Craig Wall at Fox Chicago.

"As a mom, too, it's fun to see his personality, we're seeing more of his personality, we're seeing more of a sense of humor, he wants to tease and play, he likes to make jokes, he likes to hide things from us now and run away, and he knows what he's doing and he thinks it's funny," Nicole said. "And before, we did not really see that."

Utah: New State Law Allows Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Extract For Seizures


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Until this year, extremely conservative states like Utah and Alabama didn't pass medical marijuana laws. Now both of them have something sort of like one. What changed? The advent of "CBD-only" legislation has changed the landscape for medicinal cannabis advocates, especially in conservative locales where lawmakers normally wouldn't touch marijuana with a 10-foot pole.

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it's more popularly known, is the new darling of lawmakers in conservative states who sense the rising tide of popular support for medical marijuana -- and would love to appear to be "doing something" -- but lack the political courage or will to advocate for an actual medical marijuana law.

CBD is politically safe because, as a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, it doesn't get anyone high, and better yet, it helps to quell seizures of the kind often found in pediatric epilepsy.

Alabama: House Passes Carly's Law To Allow Study Of CBD Oil For Seizures


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Alabama House early Thursday morning passed Carly's Law, which would authorize a study of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil for the treatment of childhood seizures, on a unanimous 97-90 vote. CBD oil doesn't get users high, but strong anecdotal evidence indicates it is effective in quelling seizures.

SB 74, named Carly's Law after the three-year-old daughter of Dustin and Amy Chandler, authorizes a study of CBD oil through the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), including the limited use of the oil that advocates are hoping to use from a special strain of marijuana grown in Colorado which has given relief to children suffering from seizures when conventional prescription medications haven't helped, reports Martin J. Reed at Al.com.

UAB physicians would authorize certain patients to receive CBD oil under the study.

"When they got to Carly's Law and the Speaker introduced it, [Rep.] Allen Farley [a proponent of the bill] said he was ready to debate it or answer questions," Dustin Chandler said. "They started chanting, 'Vote, vote, vote!'" he said Farley told him. "He didn't even get one question from the floor."

Georgia: Senate Panel OKs Bill To Legalize Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Georgia Senate committee this week unanimously approved a newly revised bill which would legalize the marijuana derivative CBD oil for treatment of patients with seizure disorders, cancer, and glaucoma.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended House Bill 885 to make it easier for state residents to gain access to cannabidiol oil, a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, reports Charles Craig at Online Athens.

The change would grant immunity from prosecution in Georgia for possession of CBD oil legally obtained in another state that permits the use of medical marijuana.

HB 885 was originally introduced by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who championed the bill to help children suffering from severe seizure disorders. CBD has proven effective in quelling the severity, frequency and duration of seizures, according to parents and doctors.

Under the revised Senate committee version of HB 885, patients with seizure disorders, cancer or glaucoma could use CBD oil as soon as they were able to obtain it from outside the state. Patients could also take the oil directly without supervision by a Georgia physician or an academic medical center under the revised version of the bill.

U.S.: New Review of Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana Provides Scientific Evidence


"Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy" comes as demand grows for using the plant to treat intractable seizure disorders

The medical research group American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) has issued a new scientific review entitled "Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy," which it is offering for free to the public. The review compiles much of the leading and historical research on epilepsy and cannabis (medical marijuana) for use by scientists, physicians, patients, and parents, as well as those producing and manufacturing it for treatment.

This newly compiled scientific information on epilepsy and medical marijuana comes as CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired a follow-up documentary to last year's "Weed," both of which feature children whose parents use cannabis to help treat rare and sever forms of epilepsy unresponsive to medication. "Weed 2" highlights the plight of Vivian Wilson, a two-year-old who suffered 75 seizures a day, while Dr. Gupta's first documentary featured Charlotte Figi, a seven-year-old whose use of cannabis reduced her seizures from 300 per week to three or four a month.

"This review of cannabis and epilepsy provides scientific foundation for the claims being made by CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "This material provides us with the tools to increase our knowledge and build on the research that already exists."

U.S.: Dr. Gupta Doubling Down On Medical Marijuana With Another Documentary


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Dr. Sanjay Gupta changed the landscape of the medical marijuana debate last year with his groundbreaking CNN documentary, "Weed," which drew attention everywhere from parents to the halls of Congress. At 10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, Dr. Gupta returns with a second, hour-long documentary on the health benefits of cannabis.

Dr. Gupta will narrate the show, which will include sick children and their parents struggling for safe access to medical marijuana despite legal barriers caused by state and federal laws. The show will also discuss how cannabis can ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer, epilepsy and other diseases.

"We think it'll be another big deal across our country, and hopefully even in other parts of the world where they are thinking about changing their laws," said Heidi Parikh of Romulus, Michigan, founder of the Michigan Compassion education groups, reports Bill Laitner at the Detroit Free Press.

"If you want to understand the science, this is something you'll want to watch," Dr. Gupta told the Free Press on Monday. "The drug continues to be unfairly rejected by most of the American medical establishment and by government drug regulators."

Florida: House Committee Approves CBD-Only Medical Marijuana Proposal


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A key committee in the Florida House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve medical use of a non-psychoactive marijuana extract that has shown promise jn treating seizures.

"We have evidence of benefits," said Republican Rep. Cary Pigman, who is also an emergency room physician, reports Bill Cotterell at Reuters. "We have no evidence of harm."

The Florida House Criminal Justice Committee approved the proposal, which would allow medical use of cannabidiol (CBD), on an 11-1 vote. Before the vote, Rep. Pigman referred to parents in the audience who had told of their children having epileptic seizures that destroy brain cells.

Families told the House committee that a high-CBD strain of marijuana bred in Colorado l

The CBD-only bill isn't related to a constitutional amendment put on November's ballot in Florida by a public petition campaign, People United For Medical Marijuana. That measure would allow doctors to authorize medical marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.

Alabama: Senate Committee Approves Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis Oil


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alabama lawmakers on Wednesday took one step towards legalizing a marijuana extract that doesn't produce a high, but can be used medically.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved by a 6-3 vote a bill known as Carly's Law which would allow people with certain illnesses to possess concentrated cannabis oil containing cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, reports The Associated Press.

The oil contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of marijuana which gets you high.

Parents of children with seizure disorders including severe epileptic conditions such as Dravet syndrome are supporting the legislation. Anecdotal evidence from Colorado and elsewhere suggests that CBD oil can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of epileptic seizures.

Carly's Law, named after Carly Chandler, a child in Hoover, Alabama who could benefit from its passage, would give patients and parents a defense should they be charged with marijuana possession because of the CBD oil.

Carly's father is championing the bill in hopes that he can treat his daughter's severe seizures -- due to the rare disorder CDKL5 -- with CBD. "It's truly a medicine and it can help thousands of children and people in Alabama," Dustin Chandler said.

Alabama: Medical Marijuana Advocates Rally At State Capitol


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates rallied at Alabama's Statehouse in Montgomery on Tuesday, calling on the Legislature to make cannabis available to the patients who need it.

More than 30 activists rallied at the capitol in support of a bill that would authorize a marijuana-based treatment for seizures, reports Charles Molineaux at WAFF.

Rep. Mike Ball, who wrote the law and sponsors it in the House, spoke at the rally as residents from across the state showed their support for medical marijuana, reports the Alabama News Network. Sen. Paul Sanford sponsors the bill in the Senate.

Ball said he originally thought a medical marijuana-related bill would face tough going in the Legislature, but said he's been pleasantly surprised at support. Families like Charlotte Dalton's in Madison, or Carly Chandler's in Shelby County, deserve a chance to at least try cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is derived from marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD doesn't have psychoactive effects.

Georgia: Family Fights For Medical Marijuana Law For 4-Year-Old Daughter


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Georgia family is fighting for access to a type of oil derived from marijuana to help their four-year-old daughter treat a disorder that causes up to 100 seizures a day.

Brian and Janea Cox want their daughter Haleigh to try a compound made from "a special kind of marijuana that's high in CBD (cannabidiol) that helps the brain, and low in THC," (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, reports Maggie Lee at The Telegraph.

Janea Cox said her daughter is on benzodiazepines and opiates that make her sleep 18 hours a day, but can't get the cannabis oil that could help her the most, reports Lori Geary at WSB-TV. Children in Colorado with similar disorders have seen amazing results after being treated with cannabis oil, which is legal there, she said.

"It's good to see people are opening their eyes," Janea said. "Hundreds of kids die every day because of seizures. I don't want her to be one of those kids. So, I'm going to constantly fight."

Back in 1980, the Georgia Legislature created the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program, setting up a process for doctors to investigate the effects of marijuana on patients with glaucoma and other conditions. But that program was unworkable as written; it never attracted any researchers or patients.

North Carolina: Congressman Says Medical Marijuana Option Deserves Attention


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A North Carolina Congressman has taken up the cause of parents who want medical marijuana legalized for children with uncontrollable seizures.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones said parents of children with life-threatening illnesses have come to him with a "compelling argument that political leaders in North Carolina should consult with medical professionals to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana in certain instances."

These parents have "exhausted all other available options to provide relief for their kids," said Rep. Jones.

"I believe this issue should certainly be studied at the state level, and I encourage our state elected officials to give this, and other potential treatment options, the attention that they deserve," Jones said, in what sounds like an endorsement of medical marijuana legislation in the North Carolina Legislature.

"The courage of some politicians to do the right thing can very literally save children's lives," said Annetta Saggese of Wilmington, an educator whose young daughter, Netta, has uncontrollable seizures due to epilepsy.

The strain typically given to epileptic children is low in THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, and high in cannabidiol (CBD), which has been shown to quell seizures, among other medicinal qualities.

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Bill Has Bipartisan Support


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two Pennsylvania state senators on Monday said they plan to introduce a bill to legalize high-CBD marijuana for medicinal use in an effort to help children who suffer seizures, and potentially other patients as well.

Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) said their bill would help ensure people can get medical benefits from cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in cannabis which has medicinal uses but doesn't get you high, reports Marc Levy of The Associated Press.

It was the first time any medical marijuana bill has been introduced with bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania Senate, according to Leach. The wording of the bill, which would limit doctors to authorizing medicine derived from marijuana that has more CBD than THC, indicates a new trend on medical marijuana legislation: excluding high-THC varieties, which, of course, reduces its medical effectiveness, since THC provides just as many therapeutic benefits as does CBD.

The political game they are playing, of course, revolves around the "but this doesn't get you high" argument, and plays into Drug War fears of the marijuana high which have been inculcated in the sometimes gullible American public for years now (we're just starting to break out of that cage of ignorance, as a society).

Pennsylvania: Parents of Epileptic Kids Hope Medical Marijuana Bill Passes


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some parents of epileptic children in Pennsylvania have new hope as a result of research on cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that has shown to be effective against seizures. The parents appeared in a news conference on Monday in Harrisburg, Pa., with PA Parents For MMJ, a group advocating for passage of a medical marijuana law in the Keystone State.

Heather Shuker, a single mother who runs a billing business, introduced her daughter Hannah Pallas to lawmakers at the news conference, reports Melissa Daniels at TribLive.com.

Hannah, 10, has had seizures since she was four months old. Recently, the seizures have escalated to dozens a day, hundreds a week. Doctors aren't sure what's causing Hannah's epilepsy, and no anti-seizure medications have stopped the seizures. The pharmaceuticals bring their own negative side effects.

Senators DaylinLeach (D-Montgomery County) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon County) will introduce bipartisan legislation to legalize medical marijuana with high levels of CBD, according to TribLive.com.

"I'm fighting for this because I want her to have an opportunity to have a better quality of life," Shuker said.

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