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UPDATE: Wisconsin patients waiting for seizure drug

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

UPDATED Monday, June 16, 2014 --- 12:18 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin epileptic patients are still waiting for doctors to give them a marijuana-based anti-seizure drug two months after Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill allow the medication's use.

Walker signed a bill in April allowing doctors to dispense cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative used to treat epileptics' seizures. About half-a-dozen other states have authorized its use.

Federal officials haven't approved the drug, however. The Wisconsin bill allows doctors to dispense it only if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves handing it out through a clinical trial.

The Wisconsin Medical Society says it hasn't heard of any doctors dispensing the medication and state Department of Safety and Public Standards officials say no one has approached the agency for help in starting a trial.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 21, 2014 --- 10:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin law that allows limited use of a marijuana byproduct to treat seizures has been renamed after the young girl who was the face of the proposal died this month.

Gov. Scott Walker issued a proclamation Wednesday renaming the measure Lydia's Law after 7-year-old Lydia Schaeffer, of Burlington. Schaeffer suffered from severe seizures and died from the disorder May 11 this year.

The new law legalized cannabidiol oil, a non-psychotropic extract that is used to treat seizure disorders. Schaeffer's family started a grassroots effort to pass the bill and the Legislature passed it unanimously.

Walker signed the bill April 16, three days before Schaeffer's birthday. The governor also named April 19 Lydia Schaeffer Day in honor of the girl's birthday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 16, 2014 --- 2:18 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that legalizes the use of a marijuana byproduct to help treat children's seizures.

The bill allows the use of cannabidiol, an oil extract, to be administered under the care of a doctor. The measure falls far short of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Walker said Wednesday he signed the bill because it is "very narrowly crafted. It is not medical marijuana."

Walker says his Capitol office was full of families and children who suffer from seizures and who may be helped by using the oil.

The bill unanimously passed the Legislature earlier this year. Republicans who control the Legislature have shown no interest in legalize medical marijuana let alone recreational pot smoking like in Colorado and Washington.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 1, 2014 --- 7:56 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill to legalize the use of a marijuana byproduct to help relieve seizure disorders in children.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to pass it.

The bill would allow only the use of cannabidiol, an oil extract, to be administered under the care of a doctor.

The Assembly approved the bill last week on a voice vote. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

He has not said whether he will sign the bill should it pass.

The measure falls far short of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, something the Republican-controlled Legislature has shown no interest in pursuing.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 1, 2014 --- 11:06 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill to legalize the use of a marijuana byproduct to help relieve seizure disorders in children.

The proposal is up for a vote Tuesday.

It would allow only the use of cannabidiol, an oil extract, to be administered under the care of a doctor.

The Assembly approved the bill last week on a voice vote. If it passes the Senate, it would go to Gov. Scott Walker.

He has not said whether he will sign the bill should it pass.

The measure falls far short of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, something the Republican-controlled Legislature has shown no interest in pursuing.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Friday, March 21, 2014 --- 10:15 p.m.

When you look at 4-year-old Makayla Kuehn, you'd think she's a normal, happy little girl.

But there's something she hides well.

"Makayla was born at 26 weeks, and she suffered a grade four brain bleed at birth," said Stacy Kuehn, Makayla's mother.

"She had her first seizure at 14 months old, and she had her first epilepsy when she was two," Kuehn added.

When Makayla was first diagnosed, her father quit his job in order to stay at home and take care of her -- which means income was cut in half, but bills multiplied.

"We budget for medical bills, it's the way it is," Kuehn said.

But there's something that could help -- and Stacey is fighting for it.

It's called CBD oil, short for Cannabidiol.

"It's an extract from the cannabis plant, it's used in treating seizures," Kuehn explained.

Given what it stems from, though, there's a roadblock for the Kuehn family.

"Right now in Wisconsin we have no options, unless we pick up and move our family to Colorado," Kuehn explained.

It's only legal in a select few states, and there, it's had tremendous success for seizure patients.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin are trying to make a chance.

Assembly Bill 726 was passed a few days ago. It would make CBD Oil legal in Wisconsin.

Now, Stacey and many other parents are hoping it makes it to the Senate floor for a vote.

Senator Bob Wirch, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said it a phone interview today that he "thinks it's a good idea" because it gives people with seizures an alternative and "really has no side effects".

Stacey is hoping for a change -- for her, for other families, and most importantly, for Makayla.


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