Medical Marijuana

Wisconsin Legalizes Medical Marijuana—But Only for the Children!

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Totally baked. You can tell, right?
Credit: thejbird / photo on flickr

The discovery that an oil extract from marijuana was successfully treating extremely serious, life-threatening seizures in children with rare disorders has prompted some changes in the way people think about the drug (except, perhaps, for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie).

Medical marijuana is not legal in Wisconsin, but yesterday Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill making it legal in the state to use cannabidiol, a drug made from cannabis, to treat seizure disorders. This particular, singular type of medical marijuana is approved because there's no chance anybody would enjoy taking it. From the Journal Times of Racine, Wisconsin:   

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill legalizing cannabidiol, or CBD, which has reportedly been shown to work for children in Colorado. It was illegal in Wisconsin because it contains a small amount of THC, the component present in marijuana, but advocates noted that CBD could never be used as recreational marijuana.

The bill was written narrowly to apply only to CBD, which must be administered by a physician and is not considered by advocates to be "medical marijuana."

Baby steps, anyway. At least there's another state where parents won't have to pack up their families and move to Colorado if one of their children turns out to have the disorder. But Wisconsin may not be alone. Several other states that haven't legalized medical marijuana are nevertheless considering legalizing this one particular marijuana extract for treating this particular rare illness.

For an exhaustive list of where each state stands on marijuana decriminalization or legalization, check out John K. Ross' recent state-by-state review here.