Utah bill allowing hemp use for kids clears hurdle

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bill to give children with epilepsy access to a cannabis extract has cleared its first major hurdle at the Utah Legislature, despite opposition from the Utah Medical Association.

The House Law Enforcement Committee voted 8-2 on Friday to send to the House the measure affecting children suffering from Dravet syndrome.

The legislation would legalize the use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil taken from marijuana plants. The extract contains extremely low levels of the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes users feel high.

More than a half-dozen parents testified in support of the bill, saying cannabis oil has been observed to halt seizures in children who have exhausted all other remedies.

But the Utah Medical Association maintains there haven't been enough clinical trials and scientific evidence to legalize hemp oil extract.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.