By Claire Bernish, The Mind Unleashed
In the latest from the feckless battle of the inane known as the U.S. government’s War on Drugs, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill deemed CBD oil — a cannabis-derived substance renowned for the treatment of multiple ailments, including childhood epilepsy, but without the psychoactive effects of THC — illegal.
To families of loved ones, and particularly children, with intractable epilepsy, severe and chronic pain, serious anxiety, or a bevy of other issues, the declaration of CBD as illegal not only poses potential health complications in the future, but lacks the backing of science — as myriad studies show promise nearly in line with anecdotal accounts of miraculous healing benefits found in CBD.
Law enforcement officers will now be expected and permitted to seize any “substance containing cannabidiol — or anything packaged as such.”
Hill announced the decision to reconcile Indiana law with last year’s federal listing of CBD as a Schedule 1 substance — considered (without foundation or logic) as dangerous a substance as heroin, meth, LSD, and others, and of zero actual or potential benefit medicinally and a tandem high potential for abuse — after confusion over House Bill 1148 left businesses, customers, and patients unsure how to proceed.
Particularly considering Hill emphasized, “1148 does not provide a blanket immunity for anyone possessing CBD oil. Not at all, by any stretch.”
Now, only children with severe epilepsy — for whom CBD has been shown in multiple cases to dramatically reduce number and frequency of seizures — or physicians and medical staff who were listed previously on a state registry allowing treatment with the extract will be permitted to legally possess it.
“Only upon showing that one meets the limited conditions under Indiana law could one expect to avoid being prosecuted under Indiana law,” Hill proclaimed.
Governor Eric Holcomb fomented the aforementioned registry out of ostensive “empathy” for certain epilepsy patients suffering sometimes hundreds of seizures in a single day — but, even now, the gesture has begun to look hollow in light of the authoritarian interpretation by the state attorney general. As the Cannabist points out,
“Hill’s non-binding advisory opinion leaves unclear how patients on that registry would be able to obtain CBD since it would be illegal to sell it in Indiana.”
And, as ABC affiliate RTV6 reports, ambiguity and possible conflict in legality with both the federal legislation and Hill’s nonbinding declaration have left families in the lurch. RTV6 cites the story of “Brian Bennett, whose 8-year-old son was diagnosed with epilepsy. At one point Bennett’s son was having up to 200 seizures a day.
“Bennett said his son had to wear a helmet, because he would fall and hit his head. He broke 24 of those helmets, until his parents discovered CBD oil.
“Bennett would travel as far as Colorado to obtain the oil to help his son cope.”
Were Indiana’s registry to act as the empathetic voice to the suffering the governor seemed to intimate at its inception, families like the Bennetts would have been given a clearer sign as to the future of the medicine inextricable they depend on for a sense of normalcy.
But officials’ recalcitrant authoritarian and obscenely anachronistic stance on what many consider miraculous CBD, any promise for the future may lie solely in the hands of politicians of more advanced thinking — like Indiana Representative Jim Lucas.
“We have a substance in CBD oil that we know is considerably less toxic to their bodies, significantly less side-effects, and it works,” Lucas told WANE.
Operating under this sincere concern — and in striking contrast to the attorney general’s tragic nod to the Drug War — Lucas is hammering out legislation to formally legalize cannabidiol oil in Indiana. He reiterated respect for Hill’s opinion on the matter, but disagrees.
“We wrote the law,” Lucas continued, “and my intent on the law was to make a substance that had less than 3/10th’s percent THC available to the public.”
On Wednesday, WANE reports, a spokesperson from the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys — which opposes outright all forms of and uses for cannabis — asserted,
“Indiana Prosecutors take very seriously the importance and weight of legal advisory opinions from the Indiana Attorney General. Yesterday’s opinion on CBD oil in Indiana is under review and after analysis, the Association may have more to say at some future time.”
Lucas will continue working on his medical cannabis legislation — which will include products like balms, edibles, and vaporizers — in preparation for introduction at the beginning of the new year’s session. It is the people of Indiana Lucas says drove him to action on cannabis — something for which he looked to nearby cannabis-friendly states for effective and fair medical policy best practices.
In the meantime, however, Hoosiers in need will be left scrambling — unsure of whether the medicine sustaining a decent life will soon be considered verboten, and, they, criminals if any should be found in their possession.
“This is something that not only save lives and provide a better quality of life to thousands if not millions of Hoosiers,” Lucas professed. “But we can create jobs, and a whole new economy in Indiana.”
Images: Shutterstock/ElRoi. Shutterstock/Mitch M.