A bill permitting the research and medicinal use of cannabis oil to treat neurological disorders has cleared the Kentucky House. Families with ailing children gathered into the House chambers to witness the vote on the bill.
“I feel like we’ve won the lottery. I never thought it would happen. I honestly didn’t.”
That’s Rita Wooton, overjoyed at the passage of Senate Bill 124, which will allow her son, Eli, to receive cannabidiol treatment at the University of Kentucky for his chronic seizures.
Under current law, cannabidiol is illegal because it’s derived from the cannabis plant. But with unanimous support from both the House and Senate, the bill is expected to sail into Gov. Steve Beshear’s office in the coming days and weeks.
Sen. Whitney Westerfield, one of the bill’s original cosponsors, says the bill could open the door to medical marijuana if there’s enough evidence to justify it.
“I still harbor those reservations personally and professionally about the psychoactive properties of marijuana, which is not at all a concern with this substance, so that’s still something that I still have to work with and every member of the General Assembly still has to work with. But I’m not going to shut the door on the anything that opens our eyes to something new or something different that may be helpful,” said Westerfield.
Like the other parents at the Capitol, Wooton says she’s already made plans to take her child for his first treatment as soon as she can.