State News

New law will increase medical access to oil made from marijuana

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Monday that makes it easier for patients to acquire CBD oil, which is made from marijuana and is used to treat children who suffer from seizures.

Amid a Democratic push to legalize medical marijuana, Wisconsin took what could be seen as a small step in that direction, as Gov. Scott Walker signed a related bill into law Monday.

Senate Bill 10 would make it easier for Wisconsinites to acquire cannabinoid oil, which is made from marijuana and is used to treat children who suffer from seizures.

Unlike medical marijuana, CBD oil does not generally get patients high, as it contains low levels of THC. And unlike medical marijuana legislation, the CBD oil bill was not controversial—it passed the state Assembly unanimously and the Senate 31-1.

Walker signed the bill in Burlington, Wis., the hometown of a young girl named Lydia Schaeffer, who died after suffering from symptoms that could have potentially been eased by CBD oil.

In 2014, Walker signed Lydia’s Law, named for Schaeffer, which attempted to increase access to CBD oil but was so restrictive it was largely ineffective. The 2017 law attempts to combat some of those restrictions, supporters of bill say, as it allows families to acquire CBD oil for any medical condition if approved by a physician.

Some Democrats, such as Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, are working toward full legalization of medical marijuana. However, state Republicans have not been receptive to this idea.

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