Mom continues fight to make CBD oil available

Posted at 10:27 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-24 23:27:13-05

It's a controversial treatment that can stop seizures, but parents can't get it in Wisconsin.

An emotional hearing was held in Madison Tuesday as families pleaded with state lawmakers to close a legal loophole so they can access a form of medical marijuana.

For more than a year now we've been following the local force behind this effort.  Burlington mom Sally Schaeffer lost her young daughter to a rare seizure disorder before she could try this treatment. 

Now Sally's fighting for other families like a local mom who almost lost her child.  "Things were bad," she told us.  This parent wants to remain anonymous because she's breaking the law to save her child's life. 

Doctors told her there was nothing else they could do to try and stop her toddler's constant seizures.  Out of options, this mom tried CBD oil.  An hour later, after the first dose, her child who had stopped walking was running around and playing. "His mobility is just out of this world. He's climbing, he's getting into things."

CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana plant.  It contains only a trace of THC, so it doesn't get users high.  Used in some states to treat seizure disorders, parents in Wisconsin still don't have access to it.

A hearing today in Madison was a big step to try and change that. In 2014 Sally fought to make CBD oil legal and won. "Lydia's Law" is named after her daughter.  Lydia died less than a month later before she could start the treatment.  "I didn't fail Lydia, this law failed our loved ones," Sally told lawmakers today.

After she lost her daughter, Sally discovered because of a loophole in the legislation the law doesn't work. State Senator Van Wanggaard is now trying to amend Lydia's Law by dropping the required doctor's prescription.

"This is about a very narrow amendment that would allow an individual parent to possess this for their child," the senator pointed out.

Parents from around the state are pleading with lawmakers to give them one last option to save their loved ones. 

For the Wisconsin mom now using the oil, her son is seizure free, but she has a new fear. "It's not losing my son at this point. My biggest fear is that I'll lose my son because I'm helping him."

CBD oil is legal in 20 states including all of Wisconsin's neighbors.  Senator Wanggaard hopes to pass the amendment to Lydia's Law by next spring.