A bill that would make it easier for Indiana parents to get cannabidiol treatments for their children with epilepsy will soon come up for a vote in the state Senate. According to Nuvo, House Bill 1148 just cleared the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee by a 7-2 vote, despite objections from state prosecutors.
Brandy Barrett, an Indiana resident who’s been treating her epileptic son with CBD, testified before the committee about the drug’s effectiveness. “No parent like myself wants to break the law but when push comes to shove we will do what we need to do to take care of our children,” she said. Barrett has been using CBD to treat her son for three years, and has seen an 80% reduction in seizures. She told the committee that if Indiana authorities force her to stop using CBD, she “would probably look at moving to a different state.”
Opponents of the bill point to the 0.3 percent THC that’s still present in the CBD oils. Under Indiana law, even this tiny percentage of THC is still illegal. David Powell and Dan Miller, members of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, claimed that CBD oil should remain illegal because even minuscule amounts of THC can accumulate in the body over time. Miller argued that authorities giving a suspect a drug test may be unable to determine whether the individual was using legal CBD or illegally smoking marijuana.
Pharmacist Christina Gerber, who also has an epileptic son, also testified before the committee. “Nothing is going to help everybody, but this may be the push that a lot of patients, including my son, need to go from having 50 seizures a day to about five,” she said. “As a parent, this is a no brainer. This is an easy scenario for me. If I had access to CBD oil I would use it.”
Now that it has passed the committee, the bill will move to the full Indiana Senate for another vote, before hopefully making its way to the desk of Governor Eric Holcomb.