This is Addie. She’s cute, huh? What you don’t know from looking at this picture is Addie has epilepsy. Epilepsy causes her seizures several times a day that drastically affect her quality of life. Addie and her family are asking the legislature for something this year. They are asking for hope.
HB105 passed the House this week in front of a gallery of purple wearing families. They cheered, then cried. These families looked like our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues at work – because they are; and despite what you may have heard, what they are asking for is pretty reasonable. They are asking, more like pleading, for the opportunity to legally use Alepsia.
Alepsia is an extract from a hybrid cannabis plant, which is an oil taken orally. It has high CBD/low THC so it does not cause a high, but instead has had the effect of reducing the numbers of seizures in many who have taken it. Their bill simply allows families to obtain a card from the Department of Health if they have a signed statement from a neurologist stating they (or their child) have intractable epilepsy AND that they may benefit from a hemp extract. The bill also allows academic research. The bill does not make it legal even for Alepsia to be sold in Utah.
Think about this for a minute. These parents are begging for the opportunity to simply be allowed to: work with their neurologist to determine if the treatment is beneficial, have the state allow them to travel to Colorado to buy a product that is legally sold there, and bring it back to Utah without fear of illegality. I don’t know everything, but here are three reasons why this seems completely reasonable:
1. In Utah, essential oils are all the rage. At least once a month I am invited to an essential oils class, taught by an ‘expert’ to learn about the benefits of extracts from plants. No medical experience necessary to be the expert, just a willingness to peddle the product.
2. I can legally buy hemp health foods at a store IN UTAH with similar levels of THC.
3. I am a mother. I know that feeling of watching a child suffer and be willing to do anything to stop their suffering.
Summary: essential oils are legal, hemp is legal, and parents care more about their children than anyone else.
So let’s stop hemming and hawing. Let’s give them access to medication they want to administer legally in consultation with their doctor. Heck, let’s throw them a bon voyage party as they head off on their road trip to Colorado to buy a chance. To buy some hope. To buy quality of life for their own cute Addie.
HB105 passed a Senate Committee this morning and will now be debated on the Senate floor.
This post originally appeared on Utah Moms Care.