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Bill legalizing marijuana by-product to treat seizures passes senate unanimously

Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

The state Senate has sent a bill to the governor's desk that would legalize the use of a marijuana byproduct to treat seizure disorders.

Right now, state law treats cannabidiol the same as marijuana, even though it contains extremely low levels of THC. This bill would lift that blanket prohibition and let doctors prescribe cannabidiol to treat seizure disorders.

Beth Klossner was among several parents of kids with seizure disorders who were in the state Senate gallery yesterday. She says her four-year-old son Maddox suffers from a rare form of epilepsy and has had a seizure every day of his life. She says he's tried 13 different medications, which have damaged his liver and stomach.

“If we can try something that can work without causing the side effects,” Klossner said, “we're willing to try it.”

Klosner and other parents cheered and exchanged hugs after the bill passed, 32 to 0.

“I feel like we have hope for the first time in four years,” she said: “Like we have hope that Maddox can have a better life.”

Gov. Scott Walker has not said where he stands on the bill, which already passed the State Assembly on a unanimous voice vote.

For more Wisconsin Public Radio news, go to the website www.wpr.org.

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