Utah docs praise cannabis oil for sick kids, urge state law changes


Physicians in Utah, including one of the leading child neurologists in the state, have urged officials in that state to pass legislation that would allow access to high-CBD oils for Utah children. High CBD oil has gained a lot of attention and momentum lately for the way it curbs the seizures associated with certain conditions like Dravet syndrome.

“I would like to express my strong belief that [cannabidiol]-based oils (referred to here in Utah as Alepsia) should be available as soon as possible to Utah children with severe epilepsy,” Dr. Francis Filloux, chief of the University of Utah’s Division of Pediatric Neurology said in a letter to state lawmakers through the Utah’s Controlled Substances Advisory Committee. “The substance is not psychoactíve or hallucinogenic, it contains less THC than do other materials that can be legally purchased in Utah, and it has absolutely no abuse potential.”
Filloux and his two colleagues who also signed the letter are the first Utah docs to push for cannabis legalization for children in the state according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Filloux should know a good treatment when he sees one, as he’s specialized in Dravet syndrome for a quarter of a century.
Filloux is speaking out now, before Utah families of sick children flee to nearby states like Colorado, Arizona or California that do allow for medical cannabis. That’s undue stress on already burdened families. But those families shouldn’t have to wait around for politicians to separate the issues surrounding marijuana from the therapeutic use of cannabis.

Utah state Rep. Gage Froer.

Thankfully, one lawmaker is listening. According to the Tribune, Rep. Gage Froerer, a Republican from Huntsville, Utah, is proposing legislation that would allow the state to import and export hemp-based products so long as they were below a certain percentage of THC. It’s actually a pretty clever move that lumps the low-THC, high-CBD medical oil in with things like industrial hemp and hempseed oil that also contain little to absolutely no THC whatsoever.
Of course, that would completely violate federal interstate commerce laws. But Froerer’s logic is that if the feds are going to allow states to set their own parameters on things like medical cannabis then this bill is worth a shot – especially on a substance that doesn’t even get you high.
At the least, the bill worth it to raise some awareness amongst his colleagues. “This is really an educational process,” Froerer, said on Tuesday, surrounded by epileptic children.
As one mother put it: “I know we have that image to overcome in Utah, that it’s another oil, another miracle oil,” she told the Tribune. “But people do not uproot their families, sell their homes, leave their relatives and move out of state on a hope.”