Patients who suffer from severe epilepsy can now legally use cannabis oil in Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a bill this Thursday allowing people to possess cannabidiol with the proper doctor’s certificate. (The prescription must state that the treatment is for intractable epilepsy).

A ceremony at the state capital featured various families of epileptic children who have suffered severe side effects from the prescribed drugs they’re currently taking. The bill has had a positive reception from parents and sufferers, and many have stated that they are thrilled with the result. Parents have also stated that they are pleased that they can get their children’s seizures under control without them suffering the debilitating side effects.

Many however believe that this bill gives many families false hope, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Even though the bill has passed for cannabidiol, there is no current supply of it in Virginia, so people cannot access it as of this moment. Senator David Marsden has stated in a recent interview that there are clearly still some issues that need to be resolved.

Various critics have also said that they believe that the bill could undermine the law that allows medical marijuana for glaucoma and cancer patients. Even though they hope things change at the next General Assembly, there is no guarantee that things will go to plan.

The next step would be to legalize marijuana at the federal level, so parents would not be in danger of breaking the law if they were to administer the drug to their children. A long journey, for sure, but this marks a breakthrough for not only sufferers of epilepsy but for the state of Virginia as a whole.

Natalie