Virginia Senate panel OKs marijuana derivatives for epilepsy

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A proposal to legalize two derivatives of the marijuana plant for treating epilepsy has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly.

The legislation offered by Sen. David Marsden, a Fairfax County Democrat, would allow legal possession of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil when a doctor determines that a patient has a debilitating epileptic condition.

The Senate Education and Health Committee approved the measure Thursday. The panel heard emotional testimony last week from families of children who suffer frequent epileptic seizures and have experienced serious side effects from taking legal drugs.

The committee advanced the bill despite testimony from a State Police spokesman that it could put Virginia in conflict with federal law. The measure now goes to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

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