Amylynne Santiago Volker has been pushing for a change to Wisconsin laws to make cannabidiol (CBD) accessible to her nine-year-old son Nick. In this mission, she has met members of the state law-making body, starting with her own assemblyman, Rep. Robb Kahl.
Nick suffers from Doose syndrome, a disease that affects children and often does not respond to medication. The illness exposes him to about 100 seizures daily. Through research on the use of CBD to treat other kids, like Charlotte Figi, who have the similar diseases, Volker was convinced that the hope for her son’s health was in the cannabis plant.
In February, there was good cannabidiol news coming out of the state assembly. Rep. Robb Kahl had drafted abill, AB 726, which sought to legalize the use of CBD to treat conditions like Nick’s. The bill passed through the assembly and received huge support in the senate.
Finally, on Wednesday the 17th of June, 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed it into law before a crowd of witnesses, of which Amylynne Santiago Volker was one.
The Law is Far From the Best Cannabidiol News
After the initial excitement and positive coverage by various media houses within the state and nationwide, questions over its efficacy to serve patients like Nick are increasing. These questions had started even before the bill was discussed in the assembly. However, the majority of the people were not interested in details then.
A closer look at the wording of the law now has left many supporters of the CBD medicine and legal experts with a not-so-positive conclusion: nothing much will change in the state as far as the law is concerned.
First, the law does not allow any local production of CBD. The state is to get supplies from other states. This is, however, subject to approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This leads to the second point: no doctor within the state is going to advise their patients to use CBD before approval comes from the FDA.
Cannaibis is Still Illegal Under Federal Law
Many agree that to get this approval is not going to be easy, given that cannabis is illegal under federal law. This exposes patients to a procedure that is uncertain and highly biased.
This state of the law was occasioned by the need of the drafters of the bill to get something for the patients while at the same time appeasing those who still believe there is need for tighter regulations on cannabis use.
This political balancing act is evident in the statement that the governor made while breaking this cannabidiol news. He said, “It’s very controlled, from the examining board and oversight by pharmacists and physicians, and I think that’s important moving forward. This is not in any way what we see with other laws across the country.” However, the real impact of the new law will become clear when it comes into operation later this year.
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