Utah: Medical Cannabis Oil Bill Clears First Hurdle

Friday a major victory took place for supporters of a bill that would legalize the use of a specific type of cannabis oil in Utah.

The oil is extracted from marijuana plants and some parents say it will cure their kids who suffer from epilepsy. “I beg the committee to please let this be heard on the House floor,” said a very passionate Annette Maughn, whose 11-year-old son suffers from dozens of seizures a day.  “I will be lucky if he survives another two years, that’s just how it is.”

Maughan was just one of many parents who came to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee meeting that took place at the Capitol on Friday, to plead with law makers to move forward with HB 105.

The bill would legally allow them to purchase the cannabis oil and legally bring the product into Utah without fear of prosecution. The bill’s sponsor Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville testified before the committee of proof across the country that the oil stops the seizures.  “85 percent of the people now being treated have seen significant benefit from this, in some cases children having a 100 plus seizures a day are down to zero seizers, in other cases it’s eliminated seizures by 50 percent,” Froerer said.

Critics call it nothing more than medical marijuana, saying that bypassing the bill would open the door for marijuana to become legal in Utah, just like in Colorado. “How is this not the same as what happened in Colorado?” one lawmaker asked.

Froerer and parents testified that there is evidence that the plants grown for the oil are not the same as a marijuana plant.  “I haven’t seen any indication or research that indicates that when someone puts hemp seeds on cereal in the morning that leads to marijuana use,” Froerer said.

After hearing both sides, eight lawmakers voted for HB 105 to go to the House floor and two voted against it.

Utah: Medical Cannabis Oil Bill Clears First Hurdle

Article by Dan Rascon for KUTV.com