The Arkansan legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would make it legal for patients with epilepsy to obtain medical marijuana, a move advocates say will help ease the state’s chronic pain and other medical conditions.
The measure, sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul Stupak, has the support of medical marijuana advocates.
The bill would allow patients to receive up to 10 grams of marijuana per day, which would be enough to treat about 10 patients, the bill states.
It also would allow doctors to prescribe up to four ounces of marijuana-infused medicine, including one ounce for children under 12.
The bill also would set a limit of 10 plants per home and require patients to report their purchases to state regulators.
In addition, patients would have to obtain a state-issued identification card and pay a $50 fee to receive the marijuana.
The legislation also gives medical marijuana patients a certain number of days a year to use it and gives them the option of using a form of cannabis oil to treat their conditions, such as epilepsy or PTSD.
The new law would allow only patients who have been diagnosed with epilepsy or who have experienced other medical complications to receive medical marijuana.
It is a relatively small number of patients who would be allowed to get medical marijuana under the new law.
About 1.3 million people have been treated for epilepsy in the U.S. in recent years, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of America.
About 9,500 people in Arkansas use marijuana for their conditions each year, according the Arkansas Medical Association.
“This legislation is designed to ease the suffering of thousands of patients suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer of the spinal cord, multiple myeloma, cancer-related seizures, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis,” Stupas bill reads.
“By allowing patients access to the medication for their condition, this bill is also a step in the right direction toward reducing the number of people who suffer debilitating seizures.”
The bill’s author is Rep. Stupaks father, Rep. Mike Stupakis, a Democrat.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act would not legalize the cultivation, distribution, possession or cultivation of marijuana.
The House approved a similar bill last year, but it was vetoed by Gov.
The Republican-controlled state Senate approved the bill last week, and the bill is expected to be heard in the state Senate in early February.