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Marijuana oil approved in Iowa, South Carolina

Two Republican governors recently signed into law bills legalizing the use of cannabis oil to treat epileptic children.

Families of epileptic kids in Iowa and South Carolina have a new glimmer of hope when it comes to treating their children.

Governors Terry Branstad (R-IA) and Nikki Haley (R-SC) both recently signed into law bills legalizing the use of cannabis oil to treat severely epileptic children in their states. 

Parents in Iowa celebrated the news Friday when the bill, which goes into effect July 1, was finally signed. Many families relentlessly called legislators in the state assembly and even met with Branstad, who was initially opposed to the bill, to explain to him the benefits of marijuana extract.

“When you’re the parent of a special-needs child, you never give up,” Sally Gaer told the Des Moines Register. Her daughter, Margaret, is epileptic.

READ MORE: A new New Jersey battle over medical marijuana

The Iowa bill will also prevent families who obtain the marijuana oil from other states, such as Colorado, from facing prosecution. 

Meanwhile in South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley signed the cannabis oil legislation in her state into law on Monday. That bill would not only allow the use of the extract to treat epileptic children, but will also set up a clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina to study the drug and its effects in controlling seizures.

South Carolina and Iowa are two of the latest states to allow the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy, along with Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. The state legislatures in Missouri and Florida have passed similar bills which are currently awaiting the approval of those state governors. Twenty-two other states include cannabis oil in their medicinal marijuana programs.