Parents of children with seizure disorders asked Kansas lawmakers Wednesday to legalize the use of medical hemp oil. A bill that's before a Senate committee would allow medical use of the oil, which doesn’t induce a chemical high.
Kiley Klug came to the Statehouse with her son Owen, who she says suffers up to 20 seizures a day. She says hemp oil could help treat the seizures without the side effects of some other medications.
“Chances are this won’t be the miracle cure that we’ve been hoping for, but we respectfully need you to understand our desperation to give our son a chance to try this treatment,” says Klug.
Klug says she understands some lawmakers have concerns about risks of using the oil or concerns that this may be a step to broader legalization of marijuana.
“The real risk is not providing an opportunity to help these sick children. The real risk is suppressing, denying or stalling this bill and allowing these children to continue to suffer,” says Klug.
The bill would also reduce penalties for marijuana possession. The Kansas Sentencing Commission said that could free up more than 50 prison beds next year and save the state more than $1.4 million. Opponents of the legislation will testify Thursday.