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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin gives support to trial use of marijuana ingredient to help children

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is supporting legalization of a nonintoxicating component of marijuana on a limited, trial-basis for use in treating toddlers with rare conditions that cause seizures and strokes.
by Rick Green Modified: August 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm •  Published: August 13, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin is supporting legalization of a nonintoxicating component of marijuana on a limited, trial basis for use in treating young people with rare conditions that cause seizures and strokes.

The ingredient is cannabidiol oil (CBD), and an interim legislative study is planned.

“I do not support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana,” Fallin said Wednesday. “Nor do I support a broadly defined ‘medicinal’ marijuana use that makes it easy for healthy adults and teenagers to find and buy drugs.

“I do support allowing potentially life-saving medicine to find its way to children in need. I am very interested in allowing limited, heavily supervised use of nonintoxicating CBD to be delivered on a trial basis to sick children in Oklahoma.”

An interim study is to be held at the request of Reps. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City; Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, and Todd Thomsen, R-Ada.

Signature gathering is underway in two initiative campaigns aimed at putting marijuana measures on the ballot in Oklahoma. One would legalize marijuana and the other would legalize marijuana for a long list of medical purposes. The governor opposes both.

Echols said he became aware of the potential of the oil to be helpful as a medicine after his niece, Katie Dodson, 10, of Norman, was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy.

He said he has spoken to pediatric neurologists.

“It’s taken in a liquid form, and it has shown to be highly successful with children with severe epilepsy,” he said.

Echols said the content of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is so low in the oil that there is no intoxicating effect.

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by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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