After going through nine substitute drafts House Bill 105 that would allow parents to own and administer cannabis-oil treatments to their children suffering from life-shortening seizure attacks, passed unanimously out of the senate.---
The bill originally pitched by Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville went through it's last round of tweaks when it was brought to the Senate by Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R- St. George. The bill passed out of the Senate but because it was amended will need to be approved again by the House before going to the Governor to be signed into law. Based on the support put behind the bill, however, its passage now seems all but guaranteed.
Urquhart introduced the bill by telling his colleagues about a five-year old girl in Colorado who suffered 500 seizures a day and who epileptic seizures were so dire that her family had tried everything and said their goodbyes. But since she began a cannabis-oil treatment her seizures had all but completely vanished.
“Now she is a budding ballerina,” Urquhart said.
While her success and others have given many families of epileptic children hope, the treatment is still untested. But for Utah legislators its clear that in the time it would take for testing, many children would die. The bill requires that a parent seeking the treatment has to prove that the epilepsy is intractable, meaning three other treatment methods have been unsuccessful, then get approval from a board certified neurologist. The neurologist would then allow the parent or family member to get a registration card from the Utah Department of Health to allow for the possession of the treatment likely obtained in Colorado where its legal.
The newest changes to the bill would also require that neurologists that OK these treatments would provide all of their data to researchers at the University of Utah who will be studying the efficacy of the cannabis-oil extracts during the two year period the bill would allow. The new changes would also require that potency of the treatments (making sure they are high in therapeutic cannabidiols and low in psychoactive THC) and their purity from pesticides and other contaminants would be verified in an independent lab in the same state where the cannabis-oil product was obtained.
As one more added safeguard the registration cards for obtaining the treatments would be verifiable the same way driver's licenses are to make sure they are not forgeries.
After such an exhaustive process it was not surprising the unanimous support the bill received.
Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City applauded the bill sponsors and pointed out that while long term effects aren't known, that's the case in lots of legislation. “Our job is to lead and our job is to be brave,” Mayne said.
The bill passed favorably off the Senate floor and will be voted on again in the House before heading to the Governor for signature.
To read HB 105 click here. To contact Rep. Froerer about this bill click here. To find you legislator to contact them about this issue click here. For more updates from the hill visit CityWeekly.net and follow @EricSPeterson and @ColbyFrazierLP on Twitter.