Missouri state Representatives approved a measure on April 24 that could allow patients suffering from some seizure disorders to gain access to CBD or a marijuana extract. If passed, it would be the state’s first venture into medical marijuana, and one that is long overdue for many families and patients leaving the Show Me State for greener pastures.
As reported by the Associated Press, cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract with very low levels of THC, the compound in marijuana that makes one feel “high”. With CBD, patients can receive the benefits of the marijuana without the good time, making it an easier sell to lawmakers who would otherwise be opposed to marijuana legislation.
“I want to give hope to the children of Missouri who are suffering from intractable epilepsy that they can stop having seizures and live a healthy, normal life,” said sponsoring Rep.Caleb Jones, R-Columbia.
The legalization or regulation of CBD has gained attention across the country in recent months because of its value in treating otherwise untreatable seizure disorders in children. A recent article in the Kansas City Star profiled some families living with these seizures, families leaving the state for places like Colorado where they can have access to CBD for their little ones.
“As success stories get out and word spreads, they are coming here from everywhere,” says Margaret Gedde, a pathologist in Colorado Springs who is encouraging “marijuana refugees” to come to her state.
The National Epilepsy Foundation has even spoke up, saying CBD should be available to families everywhere.
In Missouri, the bill now goes to the state Senate before heading to the Governor. Just last week, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a similar bill and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed one allowing University testing of CBD on patients in need.
Here, the bill would allow the use of CBD containing no more than 0.3 percent THC and at least 5 percent CBD. Patients or their parents would have to be issued a card from the state only after being referred by a neurologist vouching that at least three other treatment options have thus far been ineffective.
If signed, the law would take effect immediately.
“It helps a lot of people,” said Rep. Sen. Rob Schaaf, a physician. “There is no drug that I should be prohibited from prescribing for my patients if it would make their life better.”
In the meantime, Missourians hoping to use marijuana or its derivatives for the treatment of medical conditions will have to travel elsewhere or risk criminal prosecution for marijuana possession.