This week in Richmond, Virginia, parents joined together hopeful for a positive outcome for their epileptic children. Virginia’s House of Delegates voted on a long-shot medical marijuana bill that would help families suffering from severe forms of epilepsy access CBD oil.
The votes came in 98 to 0 support for this bill, with the only two delegates opposing the bill choosing to abstain rather than vote against it.
The overwhelming passage stunned Elder and other parents who never expected to succeed in Richmond’s highly conservative lower chamber on their first try. The vote might be seen as a turning point for Virginia, which has staunchly opposed loosening marijuana laws as neighboring Maryland and the District of Columbia have eased theirs.
Similar bills have begun sweeping through legislatures, surprisingly in many of the more conservative states, after an August 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” that showed the plight of a family seeking the oil for their daughter’s seizures, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. About a dozen states have passed laws allowing use of cbd oil in the past 18 months, including Alabama, Utah, and Mississippi.
In Oklahoma, State lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would allow children with epilepsy to use cannabis oil that contains less than 0.3% THC.
It was passed in yet another majority, with the house agreeing that doctors should be able to prescribe CBD oil without the psychoactive components.
Gov. Fallin as well as the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) supports this bill.
“This is not the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s simply taking the particular chemicals in it and putting it in a medical form,” Mark Woodward, with the OBN, said.
“It’s all about helping children, there’s no downside,” Rep. Jon Echols, the bill’s author said.
Rep. Jon Echols named the bill “Katie’s Law.” Katie is Rep. Echols’ niece, who suffers from seizures.
The bill will now go to the Senate. If the Senate agrees, it will go to Governor Mary Fallin. If she signs the bill, “Katie’s Law” will take effect immediately.
Wyoming also passed a similar bill named House Bill 32 with unanimous support last week and now heads to the Senate floor.
It’s not quite the Age of Aquarius. More like “the CBD epoch,” as staff at NORML refer to the phenomenon.
“In the course of one legislative session, some of the most conservative states have embraced this notion of CBD access,” St. Pierre said. “We never could have predicted it, and we’re currently vexed by it.”