Idaho Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Marijuana-Based Epilepsy Treatment

Apr 16, 2015

Gov. Otter vetoed SB1146a.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has vetoed a bill that would have legalized a marijuana extract for patients with severe forms of epilepsy.

In his veto letter, Otter said his administration has strongly opposed the legislation because "there were too many questions and problems and too few answers and solutions in this bill to let it become law."

"Of course I sympathize with the heartbreaking dilemma facing some families trying to cope with the debilitating impacts of disease," Otter wrote.

One Idaho family, whose daughter has Dravet syndrome, has been at the forefront of a quiet lobbying campaign to approve the use of cannabidiol oil for severe forms of epilepsy.

Several states that don’t allow medical marijuana have passed laws allowing the use of the marijuana extract, including conservative Utah.

Otter said patient outcomes are "more speculative than scientific."

Separately, Otter has issued an executive order authorizing the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to study an FDA approved access program for an experimental drug called Epidiolex, which is also extracted from cannabis.

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