Gov. Butch Otter has vetoed SB 1146a, the bill that would have allowed parents of Idaho children with an intractable form of epilepsy to treat their kids with cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic oil that's an extract of cannabis and can halt the children's repeated, extended and life-threatening seizures. The bill passed after lengthy and emotional hearings during this year's legislative session. "Of course I sympathize with the heartbreaking dilemma facing some families trying to cope with the debilitating impacts of disease," Otter wrote in his veto message; you can read it here. But he said there were too many questions about the bill, including from law enforcement and his administration's Office of Drug Policy, which raised concerns that the bill would open the door to legalizing medical marijuana.
"It ignores ongoing scientific testing on alternative treatments," Otter wrote. "It asks us to trust but not to verify. It asks us to legalize the limited use of cannabidiol oil, contrary to federal law. And it asks us to look past the potential for misuse and abuse with criminal intent."
"As an alternative to this legislation, I soon will issue an Executive Order authorizing the Department of Health & Welfare to study, and implement as it deems appropriate, an expanded access program for treatment-resistant epilepsy in children," Otter wrote. "That program has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration."