Friend’s bill to help children with treatment-resistant epilepsy heads to the governor

Last Updated on April 22, 2017 by cassnetwork

STATEHOUSE (April 21, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to allow the use of cannabidiol oil for treatment-resistant epilepsy could soon become law.

House Enrolled Act 1148 would allow a person to possess CBD oil if they or their child have been diagnosed with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy, and they meet certain commonsense safety requirements. Friend said CBD oil is a compound refined from industrial hemp that has a wide scope of medical applications, including the control of epileptic seizures.

“Allowing the use of CBD oil as an option for treatment-resistant epilepsy is something I have supported for the last four years,” Friend said. “There are individuals and families across the state who have utilized a variety of traditional treatment options without success. CBD oil has shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of epilepsy when other options have failed, and I think this is an option that Hoosiers, especially children experiencing seizures, deserve to have.”

This legislation would also require the Indiana State Department of Health to establish and maintain a registry for patients that use CBD oil as treatment. Additionally, Friend said the physicians who authorize and the caregiver or patient who is in possession of CBD oil would have immunity from prosecution.

Friend said CBD oil, while derived from industrial hemp, has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, so it cannot be used as a recreational drug. This legislation would not legalize marijuana or medical marijuana in any form.

House Enrolled Act 1148 can now be considered by the governor for further action. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this bill.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy)

 State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) represents House District 23, which includes portions of Cass, Fulton and Miami counties.

Head: Bill to Allow Cannabidiol for Severe Epilepsy Passes Senate

STATEHOUSE – A bill sponsored by State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) to allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat people with treatment-resistant epilepsy passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 36-13.

House Bill 1148 would require the Indiana State Department of Health to create and maintain a CBD registry, which would include the names of those allowed to use CBD oil. Only those with treatment-resistant epilepsy would be permitted to use the substance.

CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, but it cannot make patients “high,” because under this bill, all CBD oil used to treat those with treatment-resistant epilepsy would have no more than .3 percent of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for making people “high.”

“People who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy can have over 100 seizures a day, and they need relief from this terrible disease,” Head said. “This bill will make CBD oil a legal option for the treatment of frequent seizures and other health effects associated with epilepsy.”

State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) has been advocating for the medical use of CBD oil for many years.

“My ultimate goal was to establish a way for families to get treatment options for children struggling with epilepsy,” Tomes said. “This measure will give these families what they have waited entirely too long for.”

State Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Syracuse) made the legalization of CBD oil for epilepsy a priority for his first legislative session.

“This bill hits close to home for me,” Doriot said. “My son suffered from seizures as a child, and although he is better now, not all families are as fortunate. A proper understanding of what CBD oil is and how it is derived is crucial in order to change the minds of those against the use of this potentially helpful remedy. I am grateful we are one step closer in getting those who are suffering the help they need.”

For more information on HB 1148, click here.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Senator Randy Head

Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) represents Cass, Fulton, Miami and portions of Carroll, Kosciusko and Marshall counties