Local family urging lawmakers to pass bill allowing marijuana-derived oil for treatment of epilepsy

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INDIANAPOLIS — A central Indiana family considered a cross-country move in order to help their daughter the medicine they feel she needs.

Eleven-year-old Addi Hooker was born with a rare form a epilepsy. The fifth grader has suffered up to 60 seizures in a day, some lasting weeks. Addi's body rejects medicine.

"We’ve done diets, we’ve done acupuncture, we’ve done holistic medicine. If you can dream it up, we’ve tried it," said her mother, Jessica Hooker.

Addi's mom wants to try cannabidiol oil, commonly referred to as CBD.  Under Indiana law, the marijuana-derived oil is illegal.

"When you’re in that situation you would move mountains to make your child healthy," Jessica said.

The legislature has long resisted efforts to allow the use of CBD, but that appears to have changed this year.

Both legislative chambers approved measures loosening restrictions on using the marijuana-derived oil used to treat epilepsy.

The House voted to pass the bill unanimously 95-0 Thursday. The Senate also advanced HB 1148 with a 35-13 in a vote later in the day.

The oil can't get patients high. Studies suggest it contains compounds that lessen the severity of seizures.

"It's almost like I’m not going to believe it until I have that prescription in my hands," Jessica said.

A conference committee will reconcile differences between the two measures. Lawmakers disagree over the percentages of chemical components set out in law and the creation of a state registry.