Recently, the vastly conservative state of Kentucky Senate unanimously voted (38-0) to pass a bill that would legalize the medical use of marijuana oil. The bill was largely supported by the Kentucky state governor, as well as the state police. In its next phase, the bill is likely to pass in the House, which would make this the first stride toward medical legalization of marijuana since it was made strictly forbidden years ago, even for medical use or research.
When passed by the House, whom senators believe will have no opposition, the bill would allow the use of marijuana oil to anyone that is enrolled in a trial approved by the FDA. It would also support the use of the oil when it is recommended for use by a state research hospital.
The Kentucky Harold-Leader reported that state Senator Julie Denton (R-Louisville) said, “This was one of those tingly moments you get when you pass a bill that you really know is good for the commonwealth. It is really going to help people’s lives.”
Marijuana oil, also referred to as cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound present in marijuana and hemp. With low amounts of THC, it doesn’t produce the same high that is typically associated with marijuana. Scientists believe that when the oil is used, it may be able to calm the electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures. In the past, where it is legal, marijuana oil has been used to treat children with critical forms of epilepsy, as well as those experiencing severe post-traumatic stress disorder. It is typically administered orally under the tongue or through a dropper.
The Kentucky state government hopes that legalizing the medical use of the oil will prevent families from uprooting their children and moving to Colorado, where use of the oil has already been deemed legal.
Perhaps why lawmakers are hesitant about legalizing the use of cannabis, even in the form of oil, is because doctors are still unsure about the long-term effects it can have on children. All of the studies that have been done on the effects are usually concerning teenagers who use it regularly, and of course, not in the form of oil, but by smoking it in large amounts. Those that are concerned about the long-term effects usually pertain to what happens in the brain when it is used over long periods of time. It has been linked to mental disorders, diminishing IQs, and depression, though it has not necessarily proven that the use of cannabis will in fact cause these problems. The question some parents are asking, as they watch their children suffer from hundreds of grand mal seizures a week, is perhaps, which is the lesser of two evils—suffering from serious brain damage from a seizure disorder, or risking the possible long-term effects of cannabis, which is known to help reduce the seizures altogether? Many parents are willing to take the risk if it means the seizures can finally come to a stop or be significantly reduced.