Medical Marijuana Hits New Roadblocks in WI

A Wisconsin committee is taking up a bill that would allow the legal use of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizure disorders, but it’s hitting new roadblocks.

It’s called CBD oil and right now, it’s legal in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean it’s available. The oil is still illegal under federal law unless doctors get an FDA waiver to prescribe it and so far, none in Wisconsin have been willing to get one.

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“She was on everything, Depakote, every pharmaceutical you could imagine to treat her seizures,” said Steve Figi of Menasha, “[her seizures] were at a rate of 20-40 grand mal seizures a day, when she was 4-and-a-half-years-old.”

Steve Figi’s granddaughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, now treated with CBD oil at her home in Colorado. After a few years of treatment, she’s off all her medication, and making big strides.

“Charlotte is smiling, is feeling great,” said Figi, “riding her little bicycle with training wheels, she’s 8-year-old.”

Figi says his granddaughter is lucky the treatment is available to her, and he’s pushing for research of the oil in Wisconsin, to see who else it can help.

CBD oil has trace amounts of THC, the chemical that causes a ‘high’ sensation for marijuana users. Right now, as a Schedule I drug, it can’t be analyzed to see why it’s helping CBD users dealing with seizures.

But critics worry moving it to Schedule II is a slippery slope with the drug. Figi says, it would help many people struggling.

“I would as them [critics] to put their feet in the shoes of these families that have been told by the leading doctors and hospitals across the country, there are no options,” said Figi.

The bill was sent to the Children and Families Committee, which does not have any meetings scheduled.

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