Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said yesterday that she wants state lawmakers to look into allowing clinical trials for marijuana-derived CBD oil for seizure-stricken children in her state. Fallin joins a growing number of conservative politicians to embrace CBD-only treatments in the last year and, if the plan pans out Oklahoma would become the 11th state to allow for high-CBD treatments of some kind.
As we pointed out a few weeks ago, CBD bills are no-doubt beneficial to some, but overall they could be damaging to the medical cannabis movement by severely limiting not only who can access medical cannabis but what type of medical cannabis they can access. Conservative politicians who approve of CBD-only laws seem to believe that is the last step, and that cannabis activists asking for expanded laws merely want to legalize all forms of marijuana. But CBD isn’t the only beneficial compound in cannabis and CBD-only treatments could hinder research and progress in those areas.
Fallin likely is one of those politicians. She has repeatedly said that she does not approve of recreational marijuana use, nor would she consider legalizing medical cannabis outright. She says the CBD trial program stems from stories of Oklahomans moving to Colorado in last-ditch efforts to get treatments for their children. Sen. Brian Crain, a Republican who sponsored a failed medical cannabis bill in 2013, said the governor’s proposal is a step in the right direction but noted that the state should really consider expanding access to all parts of the cannabis plant.
“We have children who are suffering seizures, and if there’s something we can do for them, without increasing the risk for substance abuse, we have to try all the options,” he said told the Wall Street Journal.
It’s also worth noting that a leading proponent of these CBD-only medical marijuana laws, Colorado’s Realm of Caring which produces the Charlotte’s Web strain, wouldn’t have been able to “discover” their strain in Colorado had they not had more expansive state laws to operate under.
The 2015 Oklahoma legislative session starts in February. Currently, possession of any kind of cannabis is punishable by up to a year in jail. Get caught on a second offense, and you’re facing felony charges and up to a decade in the slammer. Possession of concentrates with intent to dispense or distribute and distribution to a minor (which is what parents of kids using CBD oil are doing) is punishable by anywhere from four years to life in prison.