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Three states make major moves on medicinal marijuana oil

Legalizing medicinal marijuana oil got a positive boost from three states this week.
Closer Look Medical Marijuana
ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY AUG. 5 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2012 file photo, prepared marijuana is for sale for those who possess a medical...

Legalizing medicinal marijuana oil got a positive boost from three states this week.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announced Friday she will sign into law a bill that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana oil in the state. “The legislature and I were convinced, I think, by a lot of the families that have children that are epileptics and have these severe seizures that this is something that can help them,” the Republican governor said on Iowa Public Television. “I believe this is something that will give some hope to these families who have members that are suffering from epilepsy and deal with these severe seizures.”

Meanwhile, the South Carolina General Assembly passed the state’s medicinal marijuana extract bill on Thursday. The legislation now heads to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's desk, where she has five days to sign it into law. Parents who helped push the legislation feel confident she will do so.

"I told them in no way does this bill support full, recreational marijuana," Jill Swing, whose six-year-old daughter has severe epilepsy, told the Island Packet. "I explained that the oil really is not marijuana, and they told me they felt sure [the governor] did understand that."

And in North Carolina, the state's general assembly took up the statewide medicinal marijuana proposal put forth last session by State Rep. Kelly Alexander. But instead of rallying for more support within the assembly to pass the legislation and send it to the governor, Alexander suggested putting the measure on the ballot for North Carolina voters in November.

"If indeed you believe the will of the people, then let's vote this through and let's put it where the people make the ultimate decision,” Alexander said.

State Rep. Pat McElraft is pushing for just legalization of the marijuana extract in the state, as opposed to a full medicinal marijuana bill. She told affiliate WRAL that she’s confident Alexander’s proposal will “never see the light of day,” but she is still concerned how it will affect her bill and the hope it could give the families of epileptic children.

"They've tried every drug possible for these children, and nothing has been helping them," she said. "We finally have found something that is helping."