South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act into law Monday, clearing the way for children with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol oil (CBD), a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, to help reduce their seizures if recommended by a licensed physician.
The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and cleared the House with a 92-5 vote, will also designate a new clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of CBD in controlling epileptic seizures.
Seven other states -- Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin -- have also implemented similar CBD-only medical marijuana proposals in the past four months.
In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) initially opposed similar legislation but signed the bill into law Friday under pressure from parents seeking to ease their epileptic children’s seizures.
“This bill received tremendous support and truly shows the power of people talking to their legislators and to their governor about important issues to them, to their families and to their children,” Branstad said before signing the bill at a statehouse rotunda ceremony.
On Thursday, Minnesota became the 22nd state in addition to the District of Columbia to legalize medical marijuana.
According to a February HuffPost/YouGov poll, the majority of respondents, 70 percent, supported legalizing medical marijuana while 17 percent thought it should be illegal.