This week, Oklahoma legislature gave final approval for House Bill 2154, which excludes cannabidiol (CBD) from the state’s controlled substances act.
This bill states that physicians may recommend liquid preparations containing CBD and no more than three-tenths of one percent THC to patients with pediatric epilepsy. The measure also encourages clinical trials assessing the use of CBD in adolescent subjects. The measure provides no in state source for CBD oils and stipulates that such products must be derived from either the “seeds” or “mature stalks” of the marijuana plant. The bill now awaits action from the Governor, who has expressed support for the legislation.
NORML, an advocacy group for the responsible use of marijuana, reports that in 2014, eleven states enacted similar legislation; though as of yet none of these measures have been implemented in a manner that sufficiently provides patient access to these therapies. Madison, Wisconsin is just one of the many cities and states across the country that have seen stalled progress after these progressive bills were passed.
One year after a law to legalize cannabis oil for medical purposes passed in Wisconsin, there still isn’t a single provider in the state who will legally prescribe it. Sally and Tom Schaeffer lobbied for months to help pass Lydia’s Law, named for their 7-year-old daughter. Weeks after the legislation passed last April, she died. Lydia would have turned 8 Sunday.
“If I had the worst day, I could see her smile and it would remind me of what was important in life,” Sally remembers.
Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law last April, but today it is still impossible to legally obtain the marijuana derived CBD oil in the state. That is both frustrating and heartbreaking for Lydia’s family. Currently, the only CBD oil accessible in most states across the country is sourced from hemp.
“I missed time with my daughter fighting for this law,” Sally said. “I missed a lot of time, because I was advocating and talking to so many people when I could’ve been spending time with her.”
“I was hoping it would save her, and instead she passed away. And now other individuals that were hoping for the same things are still suffering.”
While making the oil more accessible will no longer help her daughter, Sally continues on for other families struggling with epilepsy treatments.