CBD-Only Legislation Will Likely Be Unworkable For Most Patients

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 19, 2014

    Lawmakers in four states — Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Utah — are poised to enact legislation in the coming days/weeks aimed at providing patients, primarily children with forms of intractable epilepsy, with strains of cannabis and/or cannabis extracts high in the compound cannabidiol (CBD).

    I have previously written why, in theory, these proposals will likely provide only limited relief for patients. A closer look at the text of these proposed laws indicates that, in fact, they are largely unworkable and will most likely provide no tangible relief or protection for the patient community they are intended to serve.

    Excerpt via Alternet.org. (Read the entire article here.)

    Alabama: Senate lawmakers unanimously approved SB 174, aka “Carley’s Law,” which seeks to allow investigators at the University of Alabama to study CBD in FDA-approved trials. But no change in state law is actually necessary to permit state university researchers to conduct clinical trials on cannabidiol. Such FDA-approved protocols are already permitted under federal law, but they require the added approval of regulators at the DEA, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), and PHS (Public Health Service). However, since CBD (like marijuana) is classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law, these agencies have historically been reticent to allow such studies to go forward, a fact that will likely remain unchanged even if House members similarly sign off on Carley’s Law.

    Georgia: A Senate panel last week amended and approved House Bill 885, aka “Haley’s Hope Act.” …The amended Senate plan … only provides for an exemption from state prosecution for those who obtain CBD oil from a legal medical marijuana state and transport it back to Georgia. In theory, this would allow Georgia parents to visit a state like Colorado to obtain medicine for their children. But in practice, Colorado’s medical marijuana law only allows those who are state residents and who possess a state-issued patient identification card to legally purchase such products. In other words, Georgia parents would have to violate Colorado law to obtain CBD-oils (which are likely to only be available from a medical dispensary, not a retail cannabis market). Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries would also be in violation of not just the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law by providing a product they know is intended to be transported across state lines—a clear violation of the guidelines put forward in the August 2013 Department of Justice memo which call for “preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal in some form to other states.”

    Kentucky: Senators last week gave unanimous approval to Senate Bill 124. Like Alabama’s proposal, the bill calls on University of Kentucky researchers to study CBD in clinical trials — something they could do with or without passage of a new state law, if the necessary federal agencies agreed to it. The measure also seeks to allow physicians at state teaching hospitals to recommend CBD to patients. However, past experience from other states indicates that this latter scenario is unlikely. In 2013, Maryland lawmakers enacted legislation to allow physicians at the state’s limited number of teaching hospitals to dispense cannabis. To date, no Maryland hospitals have taken up the state’s invitation to do so.

    Utah: House and Senate lawmakers have given final approval to House Bill 105. Utah’s governor is expected to sign the measure into law imminently. Like Georgia’s proposal, the Utah measure, which sunsets in 2016, provides protection from state prosecution for parents who can acquire CBD-oil for their epileptic children, assuming a neurologist has authorized the treatment. But, as will be the case in Georgia, Utah patients will likely only be able to obtain CBD from out of state, an act that would violate neighboring states’ medical cannabis laws. The Utah proposal also calls on the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for the purposes of one day producing cannabis medicines. However, it remains to be seen whether such industrial crops can yield therapeutically effective CBD-extracts or whether federal lawmakers would even allow such a state-sponsored research project to move forward.

    57 responses to “CBD-Only Legislation Will Likely Be Unworkable For Most Patients”

    1. mexweed says:

      Indiana is one of those states in which much crop land is given over to raising corn. A high percentage of that corn is expensively used to feed livestock which are turned into meat, a habit which many Americans would do well to reduce.

      I have read that corn is a good precursor crop for cannabis. And if there should ever be more industrial hemp raised than necessary, I have read that hemp is a good precursor crop for TREES. Increased forest (anywhere we can grow some) will eat CO2 and protect against climate harm.

    2. Julian says:

      Stay on them Paul!
      And stay on them Dr. Gupta!
      Cannabinoids work their neurological homeostatic magic together, not isolated into individual molecules as pharmacueticals are patented to do.
      We will accept growing our own and nothing less.

    3. It would seem that these states are only willing show the appearance of allowing a minimal component of medical marijuana and only for the extreme cases of childhood epilepsy. And to add to that, require it to be illegally exported from another state.
      This is the worst example of “Catch 22” legislation I have ever seem. Every one of these cowards should be voted out of office.

    4. LL says:

      The residents of Georgia should sue their statengovernment! Any government that puts their people in the situation or choosing between a sick child and federal prosecution is criminal. They sit there telling us its all bad and doesn’t work, when we see it working everywhere, everyday for just about everything. Now they say, I see some good but were not gunna provide you any way to obtain it, were only gunna tell you that if you want to run the gauntlet of risking federal drug trafficking charges we’ll be OK if you make it back. Its pure lazy and an attempt to look like you did something to feel good about, but really made it worse. Watch how quick it starts becoming easier to get when its the politicians and law enforcement that have sick children.

    5. Don B. says:

      The official paranoia over cannabis, especially the much dreaded euphoric effects, is starting to fade. Soon, this absurd fear of perhaps the single most beneficial plant that nature provides to humans, will be regarded as the most misguided and just plain stupid public policy ever devised.

    6. Anonymous says:

      All of those states are deceived, religious cult states that regard themselves as supreme beings when they are actually nothing more than two-faced, ignorant hypocrites…

    7. Derek Wolf says:

      This is a great disservice to the residents of those states. What about all of the other health conditions, especially cancer, that can be treated with cannabis?

      From what the science shows about cannabis reducing free-radical damage, via its antioxidant profile, it has shown to be effective for treating and preventing practically every “Age-related disease.” Are the residents of those states not worthy or deserving enough to benefit from this wonderful plant?

      Moreover when we really dig into it, every citizen deserves rightful access whether it is for medical reasons or just therapeutic and recreational. You can grow ginseng in your backyard, tomatoes, even grapes to craft wine – and as much as you want! Here we have the most potent, useful botanical known to mankind and politicians want you to think you don’t deserve access to it?

      It’s time to WAKE UP and realize how important this crop is to the longevity of our people and planet – especially including its cousin, Industrial Hemp.

    8. momcat says:

      None of this is surprising. Looks like they are just going through the motions so they can claim they’re ‘sensitive to the public needs.’

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      I think the more cerebral THC is more useful in dealing with mental problems, at least in adults. I’m not sure a child could understand what was happening to him/her, though, which can cause anxiety.

      An insect is aware. It responds to stimuli. A human is aware that it is aware. We can talk about our awareness. With some THC and properly applied meditation, we can become aware that we are aware we are aware. This really helped me in learning to deal successfully with my Asperger’s syndrome and the mental illness it brought on.

      Guess I’m still a bit of a psychonaut, huh?

    10. Some dude says:

      This whole CBD business is fishy. Gupta is not our ally. He stands by the pharmaceutical companies who wish to bank off cannabis. The people need to wise up to this take over of cannabis by the pharmaceutical and health care industry. Do not vote for laws that give them, and only them, power over this plant, and your life.