Bill would allow use of cannabis oil to treat seizures - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bill would allow use of cannabis oil to treat seizures

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville lawmaker says she wants more answers about the effects of medical marijuana.

State Sen. Julie Denton (R-Louisville) has filed a bill that she hopes will clear the air.

The bill would allow the state's research hospitals, U of L and UK, to treat patients using cannabis oil.

Proponents of medical marijuana have long touted its almost miraculous benefits.

In one promotional video called "Charlotte's Web," a Colorado mom uses cannabis oil to treat her daughter, who suffers from severe, crippling seizures.

"We've been on it 9 months and, from that 300 seizures a week, she now has zero to one," she said.

Denton has heard those stories during hearings at the Capitol. She says her bill is designed to provide more hard evidence.

"The problem with cannabis oil, the big drawback is, there's no long-term research to know what the effects are. But these children are either going to die or have zero quality of life," said Denton.

Denton says she specifically has in mind those children suffering from seizures, who have not been helped by conventional medicine.

"When you've got an option of some quality of life versus none or no life at all, I think it behooves us here in the state to give these children a chance to live," she said.

The bill does not go as far as the one filed by Sen. Perry Clark, which would broadly legalize medicinal marijuana.

But Denton says this may be a step lawmakers would be more ready to take.

"It's going to take profiles in courage to do this," said Denton. "But I know as a parent that if I had a child who was having 300 seizures a day, and I can get them down to a handful or none, I would be going all day long, working hard to try to find that substance and get it for my child."

While not addressing this specific bill, Gov. Beshear agrees more research is needed.

"All we have right now is anecdotal evidence that someone says, 'Gee-Wiz, I did this and I feel better.' Well, we need some medical research in that area," said Beshear.

Denton says she is not endorsing legalization of medical marijuana, and points out that cannabis oil can also be extracted from hemp. But she says it's time to get some answers.

Copyright 2014 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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