Assembly Approves Legalization Of Marijuana Byproduct For Medical Use

Cannabidiol Could Help Treat People With Seizure Disorders

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A press briefing for the bill. Moving clockwise, starting with the woman on the far left: Sally Schaeffer, Rep. Scott Krug, Rep. Rob Kahl, Speaker Robin Vos, and Tom Schaeffer. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR.

People who suffer from chronic seizures would be able to use a byproduct of marijuana for treatment under a measure that cleared the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The measure would legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD), an oil derived from the cannibus plant. During a press briefing before the Assembly vote, Tom and Sally Schaeffer of Burlington told reporters that their six-year-old daughter has a rare and severe nighttime seizure disorder. Sally Schaeffer says other medications don’t work: “We really need another option.”

While the Wisconsin State Legislature has resisted efforts over the years to legalize marijuana for medical use, CBD is a different story. It contains extremely low levels of the substance in marijuana that gives users a high. The plan passed the Assembly on a voice vote, though Rep. Rob Kahl, D-Monona, said it was unclear where the Senate stood.

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“We can pat ourselves on the back and say, well, we got it through the Assembly, but not the Senate,” said Kahl. “But then these kids have to wait until January 2015 at the earliest, and I don’t know that some of those kids that we saw come to that hearing can wait that long.”

Kahl added a few safeguards to the bill, including putting the state’s Controlled Substances Board in charge of which doctors and pharmacists can dispense the drug.

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