Marijuana-based treatment for epilepsy closer to being legal in Missouri

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A new cure for children suffering from epilepsy is now nearly legal in Missouri. On Thursday, a bill legalizing the growth and sale of marijuana-based oil unanimously passed in the State Senate, and is now on the governor’s desk to be signed.

For State Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale), who has a son with severe epilepsy, the day this bill is signed into law can’t come soon enough. Schmitt, along with his wife and three children, spent Thursday in Jefferson City, speaking before a senate committee on what this new epilepsy treatment would mean for them.

Schmitt explains, “Stephen’s been through a lot. Obviously it’s affected his development, he’s non-verbal, but I was proud, and I know Jaime was right there with me, to be a voice for Stephen and kids like Stephen, and to see that this can actually happen in our state.”

Nine year-old Stephen Schmitt had his first seizure at 11 months. Now, he suffers from 5 to 12 seizures per day. His mother, Jaime Schmitt, says, “Usually it just starts with him staring, and we go over and make sure it’s not going to get worse. If it gets to 15 minutes or so, then we call 911.”

Stephen’s father adds, “All we can really do is love him, and do the best we can. We’ve tried all the meds and they just haven’t stopped the seizures.”

Schmitt says his son is the perfect candidate to try this new treatment, called CBD oil. It’s a marijuana extract that’s high in cannabidiol, but low in THC, which is the chemical that creates a high.

“It’s been very effective in treating epilepsy. So you have families, Missourians moving to Colorado to get access to it, so the efficacy’s been very, very high, there’s a great demand for it,” explains Schmitt.

The marijuana plants that would be grown in Missouri would be genetically modified and highly regulated. “So the THC levels are very, very low,” says Schmitt, “You can’t get high on it, and the CBD levels are very high. And so what they do is they extract the oil from the plant, which is then orally administered."

Schmitt says CBD oil could be available to epilepsy patients in Missouri within a year, and with that, the opportunity for healthier development and a happier life, for kids like Stephen. “There are so many things that could change,” his mother says.

Although the bill unanimously passed in the Senate, not all state representatives approved. Some felt there wasn’t enough medical evidence supporting this treatment, and called for more clinical trials.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Illinois are also working to pass legislation that would approve CBD oil for those suffering from epilepsy.

Rebecca Roberts
Reporter, FOX 2 News
C: (314) 917-0247
twitter: @rrobertstv


  • Jasmine

    This story made me cry my eyes out! My son is 10, has had Doose syndrome since four months old, its not controlled and horrible side effects from meds. I pray this happens soon!! These babies in this world need to try this treatment, it obviously has done wonders for many!! I will be praying hard about this!! Good luck to this family and their beautiful baby boy!! God is Good!!

  • caliboss

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    “any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death” – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol…not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions
    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
    Deaths by Guns: Millions
    Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
    Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever…they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever


  • fred freedom

    just legalize it so we can get back to other more important things like why this country is loosing ground other places. lots of benifits… Long live Ganja, Jay, Missouri is loosing out on everything that has to do with hemp, ganja, pot, marijuana and cannabis. Put it out there and let the people vote!!!!! WE WANT TO VOTE ON IT!!!!!! LET US BE HEARD!

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