By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Wednesday she would support a limited medical trial in her state for a derivative of marijuana that has been used in other states to treat toddlers with rare conditions that can cause seizures and strokes.
Activists said the move was significant since it comes in a state with some of the strictest anti-marijuana laws in the country.
Fallin, a Republican, said she would ask lawmakers in the next legislative session to support legalization of medicinal cannabidiol oil (CBD) on a "limited, heavily supervised," trial-only basis.
Her office said CBD is not intoxicating and research suggests it may be effective to treat toddlers with rare conditions that cause seizures and strokes.
"I do not support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana," Fallin said. "I do support allowing potentially life-saving medicine to find its way to children in need."
According to NORML, a group seeking to legalize the responsible use marijuana, as of June, 10 states in this year's legislative season have enacted laws seeking to provide limited access to medical marijuana products that contain high levels of CBD and virtually no THC for qualified, typically pediatric patients.
The group has said the Oklahoma legislation will likely be unworkable for most patients. The products are only available in a handful of states where use in other states could violate federal law.
"Oklahoma embraces an anti-marijuana culture and this move is for pure political symbolism," NORML Executive Director Allen St.Pierre said.
According to a 2013 report in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD could be a potential medicine for the treatment of epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by David Gregorio)