-- A new Indiana law that allows people with certain types of epilepsy to
use a marijuana-derived oil for treatment has spurred a statewide crackdown,
making it more difficult for those seeking the product to obtain it.
legislation in April allowing certain patients with treatment-resistant
epilepsy to use cannabidiol. The substance, also known as CBD, can’t get a
person high. The law requires the products to contain less than 0.3 percent
of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis.
that compounds in CBD products can help lessen the severity of seizures.
Many parents of children who have treatment-resistant epilepsy testified in
support during legislative hearings.
Data from State
Excise Police show the agency confiscated more than 3,000 CBD products from
nearly 60 stores during a five-week span after the law was passed, but
abruptly halted those raids in late June after concerns over the legality of
the busts surfaced, the Indianapolis Star reported .
Lawmakers and state
officials now can’t agree on whether the substance is legal in Indiana.
An email that the
newspaper obtained through a public records request shows that an excise
police commander believed the law indicated they could begin confiscating
the product if it wasn’t being used for treating epilepsy.
Some lawmakers and
state police officers say CBD was already legal because of a 2014 law that
removed industrial hemp products from the state’s controlled substance.
“All we said was
desperate parents that were seeking treatment would be free from
prosecution,” said Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, who carried the bill in the
House. “So the law is really silent on the legality.”
Advocates of the
law who use CBD products to treat their children’s seizures were upset about
the confiscations. They hoped the law would allow people with epilepsy use
the product without fear of prosecution rather than make it more challenging
for those with health issues to obtain CBD oil.
“That’s what makes
you feel awful. You feel like you worked so hard to try to do something for
people,” said Brandy Barrett, who has a 10-year-old son with severe
epilepsy. “I even heard from a few people that our legislation had messed it
up for everybody, and that obviously wasn’t our intent.”
Attorney General Curtis Hill is reviewing the matter and plans to issue a
formal opinion on the legality of CBD products.