Thousands of Idahoans, who suffer from epilepsy and other ailments, will continue to suffer as Gov. Butch Otter upholds his prohibition stance on CBD oil. Idaho stands alone on this issue. The six states that border Idaho, including Utah, have all made CBD oil legally available to their ailing residents.
At a press briefing Friday in the Capitol, Otter told reporters that he vetoed a 2015 bill to legalize cannabidiol oil out of caution. He noted, “I simply didn’t want to open that area of potential disaster.”
Otter intimated that decriminalizing CBD oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant, would open the door to medical marijuana abuse. He noted, “We want to avoid those problems.”
What the governor neglected to mention: CBD oil produces no psychoactive high. Thus, by taking it, there is no more potential for medical marijuana abuse than if a person took aspirin.
Following his 2015 veto, Otter ordered a study of CBD oil as a pain reliever and directed the state to pay a pharmaceutical company to study it. That project, he explained, has produced early successes.
Otter stated, “We are finding in that experiment that there is sufficient relief in many cases.”
Though Idaho’s ongoing research, and that more than 20 other states allow its use, Otter remains steadfast in his prohibition. His position disappoints some Idahoans whose pain and suffering would be lessened if they could more easily obtain CDB oil.
Katie Donahue, a 35-year-old wife and mother of one from Emmett, counts herself among the let-down crowd. Donahue suffers from a rare disease known as Parry-Romberg Syndrome, a debilitating condition that, in short, is eating away the right side of her face and skull.
In late 2016, Donahue told IdahoReporter.com, CBD oil eases the excruciating pain her condition brings. On Friday, she blasted Otter’s unwillingness to legalize CBD.
“I am deeply saddened at the freedom Butch Otter continues to deny extremely ill Idahoans,” Donahue told IdahoReporter.com. “I am devastated for the children who will continue forced suffering from diseases.”
Hollie Bunderson, a mother of one from Montpelier, echoed Donahue. Bunderson’s son, Scout, suffers from cortical dysplasia and has had brain surgery to ease his suffering. The surgery reduced the number of seizures 8-year-old Scout suffers, but his mother believes CBD would provide even more relief.
Bunderson asserts, “A governor, as an elected official, should be an advocate for his constituents.” She continued, “I am hoping he will be willing to meet with us, those that are making a desperate plea for his advocacy. I'm hoping he will meet our children, look them in the eyes, and become their hero.”
Hear the governor's explanation below: