Marijuana extract now legal in specific children's cases

CREATED Apr 16, 2014

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MADISON - With the stroke of his pen, Governor Scott Walker blotted out the uncertain future for many families.

Walker today signed a bill legalizing a special treatment for children diagnosed with a rare chromosome and seizure disorder. The treatment is based on a special form of cannabis that doctors think would make a huge difference in stopping the seizures.

The treatment was first discovered in Colorado. It's an oil known as 'Charlotte's Web'. It's named after a girl, Charlotte, who suffered for years from seizures. Charlotte's Web is a strain of cannabis low in THC and high in cannabidiol, or CBD. It provides the relief without making kids 'stoned' in the sense that many people think of marijuana.

Several families attended the governor's signing this morning, including the Schaffers, who first told TODAY'S TMJ4 about their struggle in January.

"I will always remember how the families came together," said Sally Schaffer, whose daughter Lydia, 6, suffers from the seizures. "This is about saving kids lives."

Families like the Schaffers will now look for doctors willing to prescribe the treatment.

The strain of pot, called Charlotte's Web, usually harvests in the spring and fall. Now that Charlotte's Web is legal in Wisconsin, families expect to import the treatment from Colorado later this year.