Utah doctors endorse push for medical marijuana

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 16, 2013 at 10:51 am •  Published: November 16, 2013
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A University of Utah neurologist and two other Utah doctors announced their support this week for allowing a medical use of a marijuana extract for children who suffer from seizures.

In a letter sent to the state Controlled Substances Advisory Committee on Tuesday, pediatric neurologist Dr. Francis Filloux said the liquid form of medical marijuana is a promising option for children with epilepsy.

Filloux and the other doctors join a push led by one Utah mom to change state law to allow the use of the cannabis oil extract.

The extract, which is grown in neighboring Colorado, is believed by many to help children with a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.

The extract has low levels of THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high.

"The substance is not psychoactive or hallucinogenic," Filloux said in his letter, which was co-signed by two other university doctors. "It has absolutely no abuse potential."

Across the country, 20 states allow medical marijuana use, but Utah is not one of them.

By not allowing the cannabis oil in Utah, "we would be making the decision to limit access of our children to a potentially life-improving therapy," Filloux wrote.

Josh Stanley, a Colorado-based producer of the extract, told the committee that the level of THC in his product is so low that it under agricultural standards, it's considered a hemp product.

Families that are desperate for access to the drug have moved to Colorado just to purchase the extract, Stanley said.