Since the premiere of the Dr. Sanjay Gupta documentary “Weed,” the nation has been waking up to the incredible medical utility of cannabinoid extracts, particularly the high-CBD, low-THC oil produced from “Charlotte’s Web” plants. Little Charlotte Figi suffered 300 seizures a week before trying the oil, and "Weed" viewers were astonished to see her miraculous recovery. She now suffers just one or two manageable seizures a day.
Yet even though there are now 20 state that have legalized medical marijuana, the use of this incredibly helpful, non-psychoactive cannabis product by patients is not protected in all of them.
The New York Times reported on the story of Jacob and Jennifer Welton, who are suing the state of Arizona over its medical marijuana law, which passed in 2010. The law allows patients the use of “any mixture or preparation” made with dried marijuana flowers and allows minors into the program. Any sort of concentrated hash oil, however, is an illegal narcotic even for patients, prompting the Weltons to sue for the use of CBD oil for their five-year-old epileptic son.
Medical marijuana states usually define "medical marijuana" as all preparations derived from the cannabis plant, but some states have separate definitions for hash and hash oil. In Michigan for instance, the word “resin” was left out of the definition of “usable marijuana,” leading the Court of Appeals in July to decide that a brownie made with pot was OK, but a brownie made with cannabis-butter is illegal. In response, on Monday a Michigan state representative filed a bill to make concentrates of cannabis legal for patients.
Products made with concentrates were illegal for patients in New Jersey, until this August when activists pressured Gov. Christie to sign a law allowing them in the state’s only operating dispensary (at that time). In a weird twist only children can qualify to use the marijuana concentrates. California explicitly allows patients to possess hash and hash oil, but it is as illegal for anyone to manufacture it for them as it is to run a meth lab.
And as we reported earlier, one lawmaker in a decidedly non-medical marijuana state, Utah, believes the product is perfectly legal in his state. A mother fighting for CBD-oil for her epileptic child wants to bring the Charlotte’s Web oil in from Colorado. Rather than legalize medical marijuana, a move Utah politicians have sworn to reject, Rep. Gage Froerer believes they can just legalize the concentrate as just another legal hemp product, like the hempseed oil found in a grocery store that’s less than 0.5% THC.