Epilepsy Association of Utah

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Press Release: Utah Legalizes Cannabis for Seizure Treatment

FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Utah Legalizes Cannabis for
Seizure Treatment
Governor
Signs Bill – First of Its Kind in Nation
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- Tuesday, 25 March – Today, many Utah
families cheered as Governor Gary Herbert held an event replicating his signing
of “Charlee’s Law” or HB105, the first bill of its kind allowing cannabis
extract (CBD) oil for treatment of uncontrolled seizures. Based on recommended
use by board certified neurologists, Utah families hope the oil will decrease
or even control their children’s seizures.
Governor Herbert signed the
bill last Thursday and it will go into effect this July. The new law allows
families of children with uncontrolled epilepsy to possess CBD oil,
manufactured from the cannabis plant, in Utah. Where 20 other states have
legalized the use of medical marijuana, this nationally unique law allows for
specific precautions, such as a low psychoactive component of .3 percent THC
(tetrahydrocannabinol). “CBD oil does not cause a ‘high’ and it has absolutely
no abuse potential, yet it could prove to improve quality of life or even save
lives for some of our children,” said Annette Maughan, Epilepsy Association of
Utah’s president.
Charlee’s Law states that families
who bring CBD oil into Utah must take their board certified neurologist’s
recommendation to the Utah Department of Health in order to obtain a permit
once per year. A law enforcement officer may check the validity of permits at
any time. Neurologists recommending the product to their patients must send
their findings to an institution of higher education to study. The law will
have a sunset provision of two years, allowing Utah lawmakers to analyze the
research.
Some Utah lawmakers had concerns that
the product is not yet FDA approved and questioned the known side effects.
Still, the House passed the bill 62-11 and it went on to win a unanimous vote
of 26-0 at the Senate, citing arguments supporting that children with intractable
epilepsy do not have time to wait the five to eight year process of FDA
approval.
“The
preliminary research that has been done would show that it has been very
optimistic that we actually increase life span and life potential by decreasing
the seizures by 50 to 100 percent,” said Representative Gage
Froerer, the bill’s sponsor. Maughan stated that the most common side effect is
that it makes children a little sleepy, which is an incredible improvement
compared to the FDA approved and organ destroying medications children
currently take.
“We are thrilled that Utah lawmakers have
researched and recognized the urgency of this matter, while showing an
incredible amount of compassion for Utah’s epileptic children,” said Maughan.
Press
Contact:        Jennifer May
Email:                        info@epilepsyut.org

Website:                  www.epilepsyut.org

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