In 2014, Wisconsin lawmakers first approved legislation that legalized the use of CBD oil for epilepsy. Known as Lydia’s Law, this bill was named after Lydia Schaeffer, a child who suffered from a rare and intractable type of epilepsy. CBD oil is known to be particularly beneficial to those with epilepsy, providing much-needed relief for individuals experiencing frequent seizures. Unfortunately, Lydia passed away before she could experience the benefits of CBD oil — which was legalized a month after her death.
Although Lydia’s Law was intended to help patients, the severely restrictive nature of the law made it virtually impossible to find a doctor willing to offer CBD oil treatment. Despite the benefits of CBD oil, disappointed families had many issues gaining access to the oil over the next three years. These patients and their families pushed for changes to the law.
A Small Step Forward for CBD Oil in Wisconsin
April 17, 2017, marked a new chapter for these families when the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, signed Senate Bill 10 into law.
“Today, we’re making it easier for people in our state to obtain CBD oil without a psychoactive effect to treat a medical condition as advised by their doctor,” Walker said in a statement.
Physicians are now able to prescribe CBD oil for medical reasons. Individuals can possess the oil if they have a valid prescription, even if the oil was purchased outside Wisconsin.
A CBD Oil Placebo Bill?
Cannabidiol oil is now legal to use in Wisconsin with a prescription, but there is no legal way for patients to obtain it. The new law does not provide a legal framework for cultivation or distribution. Patients are required to purchase CBD oil in another state and transport it across state lines back to Wisconsin; potentially putting them in violation of federal interstate drug trafficking laws.
The new law will help people suffering from medical conditions. However, until the state law is amended to allow in-state cultivation and retail distribution, the bill will continue to function as little more than a placebo. For now, patients can only hope that future iterations of this bill will finally allow them to realize the full benefits of CBD oil.